Having spent some considerable time looking at Jo Spence, I find myself pulled in different directions. Firstly I admire her bravery, her work and how she speaks (or photographs) her mind. She is like me. I say it as it is. On the other hand the Libido Uprising project is just not my cup of tea, although I do understand what she is doing and why. Jo Spence appears to have influenced Gillian Wearing, whom I encountered earlier and I am convinced she will have given strength and courage to anyone who has seen her work.
Her life is somewhat tragic, being blessed with breast cancer and then leukaemia. My heart went out to her when I read her story. The illnesses have also been a catalyst for some of her best work.
The Cancer Shock project, must have been hard to work with, but also cathartic. Is there an element of exhibitionism again in there. I’m not convinced that many people I know would bare all. I understand why this is done but again this is not my cup of tea. I’m also unsure if the general public wold understand what the project is really about or the necessity get get one kit off.
Below is my favourite image that I have seen relating to Jo’s work. My reasons for this are laid out below the image.
- I am of an age where I actually remember using Squeezy washing up liquid. It was cheap and naff.
- The images behind Jo also add to the message about the role of women in life and society.
- I’m not sure but in the capitalism works poster, the main character appears to be the macho man Clint Eastwood.
- The mask adds to the fact she is saying woman are being suppressed.
- The gloves hint at what would have been classed as “women work”.
- I think artists like Jo, will have awakened some ladies to take up the fight to strive for equality.
- She is also wearing a wedding ring to add to the fact that she belongs to a man.
- I am a believer in equality for all.