featured gallery for February 2015

Love Positive Women

Women! Women! Women! I LOVE POSITIVE WOMEN!

They are moving, contemplating, subversive, insightful, introspective, intense, reverent, evocative, activists, advocates, storytellers, originators, creators, holders of secrets.

They are beautiful.

They are Artists.

They dramatize social unease and ultimately the unspoken tensions that Women with HIV Live.

I too am an Artist, a Woman Living with HIV and find my labyrinthine mind overwhelms me whilst trying to curate Love Positive Women. As I perused Visual AIDS I found that there were far less females than other demographics. The reasons for the gender gap are up for deliberation: suggestions can include leisure, inequality, or maybe how gender socialization shapes public conduct. History will be skewed by the lack of female participation. Many articles and works on HIV+ women in history and art are absent throughout the sector. This represents an alarming perplexity in an increasingly important repository of shared knowledge.

Nevertheless the Women who are present are a force to be reckoned with. Each artist that I have chosen was decided upon from an amazingly selfish point of view being that they strongly resonated with me and my lived experiences of HIV. They are subversive in a quieter and stranger way [some quieter than others] astoundingly evocative, the art suggests the freedom of the introspective self. Their art reflects portraits of women crossing multifaceted boundaries. What I mean by this is that to be a woman living with HIV is to be seen as a HIV Junkie Whore, a long way from the vision of a nice woman in her 1950’s clean retro kitchen with her untainted children and god like husband. Whilst at the same time she must be responsible for educating and providing protection to any sexual partner she has, she must also take the last hit. She could be seen as an innocent naïve victim and pitied or someone who caught a cold. Then there is the HIV sector who have their own hierarchy where women take a backseat.So how do we see ourselves? Well there’s the question. There is the story. This eclectic Love Positive Women group of women weave a web that can transform the very nature of HIV. Their work leaves one without doubt that they should be appreciated as a window in to the artist's emotions. They are Positively Fabulous Nancer LeMoins, Jessica Whitbread, Kia Labeija, Chloe Dzubilo, Maxime Angel Starling, Rebecca Guberman-Bloom, Loreen Bryant, Valerie Caris Blitz, Lucretia Crichlow, Affrekka Jefferson, Kathryn McGuinness, IMH, Christabel Miller.