Charity auction and exhibition Art on a Postcard has launched its first all-female edition to celebrate International Women’s Day. Artists including Harmony Hammond, Guerrilla Girls, Celia Hempton, Orkideh Torabi, Genieve Figgis and Yulia Iosilzon have each created postcard-sized works for the auction, which will raise money for the work that The Hepatitis C Trust does to eliminate the disease in women’s prisons.
Unusually for Art on a Postcard, the author of each work will be known before bidding. Art on a Postcard founder Gemma Peppé explains: “We are known for our Secret Auctions; however, we want to shout about all the fantastic women taking part in this iteration of Art on a Postcard and show off their wonderful work, so this time you will know who you are bidding on.”
Art on a Postcard selected artists for the exhibition and auction who have challenged gender stereotypes through their work, or have used their practice to comment on contemporary culture and change society for the better. Guerrilla Girls, for example, have been fighting against sexism and racism since the anonymous artist-activist group formed in 1985, calling out galleries that fail to address male bias in their collections and curatorial teams. Painter and sculptor Harmony Hammond, who recently unveiled her first European solo show at the White Cube, was an important figure in the 1970s feminist art movement in the US and continues to create abstract work that discusses the gendered body and sociopolitical ideas.
Each of the artists was given free rein to work on a topic of their choice. Artist Caroline Coon, who was a key figure of the 1960s and 1970s counterculture, even managing band The Clash at one point, has contributed a sketch for a larger piece that celebrates female power. “Caroline Coon is a fascinating artist who has championed women’s rights and plights throughout her career,” Peppé tells It’s Nice That. “Her artwork was made during the Women’s World Cup. The Amazonian women have the muscles and physiques of their sporting male counterparts, indicating equality.”
As well as stalwarts of the feminist art movement, the exhibition also features artists from across the globe. Often working in fabric dye on cotton, Iranian artist Orkideh Torabi flips the gender roles of famous art history subject, such as Sandro Botticelli’s Venus, while Medina Dugger’s Veil in Daffodil is a “joyous celebration of the material and movement of the veil”, from her project Enshroud, which was inspired by Muslim women in Lagos. “This has the same air of hopeful cheerfulness as the daffodil in its title,” says Peppé.
Genieve Figgis’ Blue Eye Liner is currently the most sought-after artwork, with a bid of £3,000 at the time of writing (6 March). “Her clever use of paint together with the humour employed in this card have propelled it to being the card with the most bids so far in the auction,” says Peppé. “We haven’t had such a popular card since our last Harland Miller submission. We are addicted to watching how much this one goes up daily.”
The exhibition runs at the AllBright Club in London’s Mayfair until 11 March and you can bid on the works at Paddle8.com. Each has a reserve price of £50.