'our creation is that guru; the duration of our lives is that guru; our trials, illnesses and calamaties is that guru. There is a guru that is nearby and a guru that is beyond the beyond. I humbly make my offering to the guru, the beautiful remover of ignorance, the enlightenment principle that is within me and surrounds me at all times.'
Guru Stotram

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Very excited to announce my latest curatorial project...

Kunstihoone Tallinn presents young British artist Sarah Maple

Sarah Maple
1 to 24 February 2012
Kunstihoone Tallinn
Vabaduse väljak 6
Tallinn 10146, Estonia

At twenty-eight Maple has already had solo shows in Munich, Amsterdam, Paris and London, as well as exhibiting in group shows alongside the likes of Martin Creed and David Hockney. She now brings her very individual brand of anarchic humour to Estonia.

Described by Alice Jones in the Independent as “a brilliant self-publicist and an incendiary feminist,” Maple uses her art work to challenge traditional notions of religion, identity and the societal role of women in multi-cultural twenty-first century Britain.

Maple's fifth solo show in as many years will present an overview of her work since she emerged from art college and won the Saatchi New Sensations prize in 2007. Alongside early works including Vote for me, Salat and Haram - the portrait of herself in Muslim dress holding a piglet that caused controversy and even death threats when it was first shown in 2008 - will be her more recent feminist informed works. The large scale triptych canvas Menstruate with Pride that received its own blog post in the Independent last year, a close up photograph of the artist sporting a green and purple vajazzle reading Votes for Women, inspired by the Suffragette movement and the Newsnight vajazzle debate, as well the Disney lightbox series in which Maple dresses up as each of the six fairy princesses, recontextualising them into an equal opportunities narrative: Cinderella winning a seat in Parliament, Sleeping Beauty performing open heart surgery and Belle managing a football team, yelling at the players from the dugout. In these powerful works Maple tackles taboos, wrestles them to the ground and guffawes in their face. Or, as Antony Gormley put it: “It's very emotive stuff. She is using the female notion of appropriateness to explain political and personal realism.”

Maple's approach comes out of a long feminist art historical trajectory of using humour and herself as protagonist, becoming a warts and all mirror to contemporary society and pop culture through the device of self-portraiture. Her work is influenced by Sarah Lucas, Frida Kahlo, Gillian Wearing and the timeless social commentary of William Hogarth.

The show was conceived by Anne Maisvee and will be co-curated by Rebeka Poldsam and Beverley Knowles. It will be hosted with the support of the British Council and Anne Maisvee.

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