Her Circle Ezine is an online portal of arts, activism and socially engaged creative practice. Critical to the work that we wish to highlight, is the idea that creative works and practices have the inherent power to be instruments of social and cultural change. Artists and writers featured in Her Circle, use their works as a means of addressing issues of identity, gender, ethnicity, politics, and statutes that surround and shape women’s lives, thereby challenging us to re-evaluate and re-imagine the world in which we live. By celebrating these artists and writers, we strive to bring these issues to the fore, whilst reaffirming connections between art, politics and life.
Going live with its first publication in September 2005, Her Circle initially only featured literary feminist works. The site remained this way, up until Spring 2007, when it expanded into a more traditional magazine style with literary interviews, features and blogs, closer to the Her Circle that we see today. The initial literary feminist posts section of the site has now evolved into the ever-popular Magnolia Journal which is now a publication that accepts submissions for content from the public.
The sites expansion into the art world in 2008 with the first post in the Studio HCE Virtual Gallery, was born out of a mutual interest in the arts and the desire to acknowledge the great feminist works of art out there. Since August 2010, the Studio HCE gallery has become more frequently populated with exhibitions, interactive events and publications. The HCE team are very pleased with how well-received the arts section has been and revel in delivering to you the most relevant, beautiful and often hard-hitting works.
Dedicated entirely to women’s arts and literature, the site is organising a number of events for the weekend of International Women’s Day. IWD itself is on 8 March and Her Circle’s programme will run from the Saturday before (5 March) up to and including Tuesday 8 March.
Until March 30 we have artist Chang-Jin Lee’s COMFORT WOMEN WANTED in the gallery. Comfort Women is the name used when referring to the more than 200,000 women who were forced into prostitution by the Japanese military during World War II. Between 2008 and 2009, Lee met with a number of Comfort Women survivors to listen and record their stories. Our virtual exhibition features a selection of her photographic documentation and audio from her research and travels abroad.
CIRCUMNAVIGATION is an online event designed to get you interacting with your environment in new and interesting ways. Anyone can experiment with this, regardless of where you are and who you might be. Whether this floats your boat or not one thing is for sure; if you choose to take part in the CIRCUMNAVIGATION event this March, you will end up viewing the world in a whole new way whether your destination is a desert island or a traffic island.
Drawing on influences from relational art practices and the Fluxus movement (which turned attention to the “city as a canvas” and came up with games in relation to this), CIRCUMNAVIGATION is a direct response to the virtual relationships of the internet and our use of space in the real world. Taking instruction via live twitter feed, you will follow our directions on a “map” of your own creation. Following the event, submitted ‘maps’ will be posted to the Studio HCE Gallery for all to enjoy in HCE’s CIRCUMNAVIGATION exhibition.
Choosing your own starting point be it your place of work, your local supermarket, your favourite bar or your own front door, you will be guided via another’s influence to discover a whole new world within your familiar home place.
To take off on your own circumnavigatory adventure, all you will need is access to a live twitter feed and something to document your journey with.
So nice we’re doing it twice! So no-one misses out we are running Circumnavigation in USA and UK time zones:
CIRCUMNAVIGATION USA takes place Saturday March 5, 1pm EST
CIRCUMNAVIGATION UK takes place Sunday March 6, 1pm GMT
“Hot Topic is a series of 60 paintings that portray each person mentioned in the Le Tigre song of the same name. The song is a tribute to feminist heroes of all stripes: artists, activists, writers, musicians and others. Many of the people in the song have strongly influenced my own development as an artist and activist but are relatively unknown outside of certain subcultures. In a world that celebrates Britney Spears but forgets the names of suffragists (link to article), I wanted to find a way to solidify the memory of the underground superstars whose creativity and ideas have made such a difference to feminists of my generation” – Kirsten McCrea, 2008.
Kirsten McCrea fronts HCE’s first ever Virtual Artist Talk during the International Women’s Day Festival on Sunday March 6, 3:00pm EST/8:00pm GMT. This talk is limited to only 75 participants – register now, free!
Starting off HCE’s self-exploratory theme that will run throughout the year is artist Kay Chernush with her exhibition Self Examination. Here, Chernush paints a touching and harrowing picture of what it is to be diagnosed with breast cancer and to survive it. Her photographic style compliments this work perfectly to make it that bit more personal and moving. Juxtaposing medical reports with powerful photographic imagery and small excerpts of text, we are given an insight into her own struggle with the disease. With the figures for breast cancer diagnosis rising from 1 in 9 women to 1 in 8 women in their lifetime, this is a frighteningly relevant piece about the strength it is possible to have in such dark times.
Kay Chernush closes the events for the International Women’s Day Festival with a Visual Artist Talk on Tuesday March 8 at 7:00pm EST. This talk is limited to only 75 participants – register now, free!