Jill Rock and Joanne Roberts : Sheela na Gig and the Vulva. Thursday 27th July 6:00-9:00pm

A celebration of Sheela na Gig, the ancient figurative carvings of naked women displaying an exaggerated vulva. The night shall include art works, a ritual and a talk, with Joanne Roberts, Jill Rock, and contributions from Raga Woods and Nicky Heinen

Jill Rock
Sheela and the Vulva has been an implicit part of much of my work for some while. Now I am delighted to take advantage of this residency with Jo Roberts at Hundred Years Gallery to make the jump from the implicit to the explicit.

As a residency the outcome is not known. Watch this space for further developments.

Rock has worked worldwide in New York, Austen Texas, Rio de Janeiro, Florianaplois, Santiago, Valparaiso, Chiloe, Argentina, Sydney, Beirut, Berlin, Holland, Spain, Turin, Milan, Rome, Sardinia and Naples as well as the UK. At present she is involved in work at Kurt Schwitters’ Merzbarn and Brantwood home of John Ruskin’s home both in Cumbria. She has taken part in several residencies world wide, in Sao Paolo, Chile, Sardinia, Rome, Argentina, and has found in them an excellent stimulation working in an open ended way.
Her work is about place and theme using whatever is found on the way, fascinated by the way material objects, ideas, and different people’s perceptions coalesce.

Joanne Roberts
Joanne Roberts trained at the Slade School of Fine Art in painting where she achieved a masters degree. Whilst there she won the Painter Stainers award for drawing, the Bill Michaels award for painting, and received a year’s bursary from ACAVA to further develop her work. In 2014 she undertook a residency in Berlin at Milchhof studios and in 2015 she created ROTS with Mark Pilkington which was exhibited in Berlin and at the ICA with an installation and performance. Joanne enjoys collaborating with other artists and exploring ideas from different angles working in drawing, painting, performance, installation, video and lately food.

Sheela na Gigs are carvings of women displaying an exaggerated vulva. They are found on churches, castles, and other buildings, particularly in Ireland and Great Britain, sometimes together with male figures. It is uncertain what these carvings meant to those that created them, some researchers suggest it is a left over symbol from an older religion. Such carvings are often said to ward off death and evil spirits. Joanne is interested in re-looking at the image of the Sheela na Gig and how it might manifest itself in contemporary culture. Is it still shocking?funny? awkward? or even homely? Also how does it relate to the Green man and ideas of women being closer to nature (more base).

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