Deborah Kelly’s ‘crowd-sourced feminist wisdom’ for 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS

Deborah Kelly’s projects are concerned with lineages of representation, politics and history in public exchange. To prepare her action for International Women’s Day, as part of 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS, the artist invited people who identify as feminist to join her at Sydney’s Artspace, to discuss and isolate pressing concerns facing feminism. Employing this collective knowledge, Kelly will produce seven artworks to use in her action, available for others to download, print and display in public space as posters, stickers or flyers, as well as post on social media.

Deborah Kelly, Venus Envy, Chinese ink, paper collage and UV varnish, 35 x 55cm

During the week of International Women’s Day, 5 to 11 March 2018, Kelly and Artspace will place the artworks around Sydney, activating public spaces with guerrilla feminist messages. The works will also be shared on Instagram: @52artists52actions. People who use the material in public sites will be invited to send in documentation for the 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS website.

Kelly describes the action as ‘crowd-sourced feminist wisdom as print-at-home stickers and posters, adding value to any streetscape labouring under the burden of patriarchy’.

Deborah Kelly, from the ‘Greater Venus Variations’ series, 2015, archival pigment print and freshwater pearl on Hahnemuelle paper, 60 x 30cm

Now in its 8th week, 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS is a year-long project curated by Artspace, running from January 2018 to January 2019 and highlighting artistic practice across Asia. Every week for the year a different artist is invited to respond to a current political or social issue in the form of an action (anything and everything that artists use to communicate: from an artwork to a tour or community event, an image, a shared meal, a performance, or a temporary installation) to build awareness around important concerns locally and globally.

Upcoming artists include: Hit Man Gurung (Nepal), Nasim Nasr (Iran/Australia) Heman Chong (Singapore), Mulka Project (Australia) Reetu Sattar (Bangladesh), Vernon Ah Kee (Kuku Yalandji, Waanji, Yidinji, Gugu Yimithirr [Australia]) and Charles Lim (Singapore).

Artspace Executive Director Alexie Glass-Kantor says: ‘There has never been a more important time for a project like 52 ARTISTS 52 ACTIONS. Every day, headlines and newsfeeds intimidate with an increasingly troubled world where profit and personal gain are seemingly placed above all else and difference is feared. This project aims to spotlight the unflinching voice of the artist, and the belief that empathy and understanding are critical for a better future.’