A Public Airing
I was lead artist on this collaborative performance with South London Women Artists in 2013/4 as part of Parliament Week. Drawing on the expression ‘airing your dirty linen in public’, the performance combined Morris Dancing with the task of the weekly laundry to air sexist comments and the performances mostly took place on washday Mondays. Aimed at highlighting endemic sexism, the idea was born when a person kindly helping with research in the House of Commons greeted a group of female artists with the words “what have we here, Miss World Contestants?”
Informed by the tradition of handkerchief waving Morris dancers, carefully stitched underwear was pegged onto a washing line. Each lovingly made laundry item was hung out to the accompaniment of a sexist comment and the dirty laundry thus aired in public. At the end of each performance the washing line ‘full’ of shouted comments was archived, scrolled in the manner of vellum Acts of Parliament.
With thanks to WildGoose Studios for allowing us to use Sherborne Jig/Queen’s Delight by Crucible from the Magic Of Morris Volume 1 album and to New Esperance women’s Morris Dancing team.