The exhibit was a retrospective of selected needlework, textile and mixed media works from various Judy Chicago projects. There was nothing from The Dinner Party, but there were pieces from some of her other major installations including The Birth Project, The Holocaust Project and Resolutions: A Stitch in Time. There were also some fabulous short films about Judy Chicago and the women who render her artistic vision in needlework and textiles.
The Birth Project rivals The Dinner Party as Judy Chicago's most ground-breaking and powerful installation. Created from 1980 to 1985, The Birth Project is the first serious representation in Western art of women's experience of giving birth.
Think about that astonishing fact for a moment -- 5,000 years of Western Civilization art deliberately ignored this specific experience as being too unworthy, unclean or unimportant to portray or acknowledge. Not until women achieved sufficient equality to become serious artists ourselves did this central human experience first get addressed in Western art -- a whole 25 years ago! That just staggers me.
The Birth Project is a radical, searing vision of female pain and female power. Its images can be raw and shocking but then again, isn't all truth-telling? Judy Chicago portrays the creative act of birth as connecting women both to the Earth and to the Divine Feminine.
Here are photos of a couple of the larger installation pieces. The first is crocheted in black yarn. It is an absolutely exquisite piece of work. The double shadow effect comes from being hung about an inch away from the wall.
The second piece is created with a short yarn rug-hooking technique and is very lush in both colour and texture.
It was an amazing exhibit and one which I will not forget for a long time!
[All photos taken by my Rare One]