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Postcard Auction: Feminism in London

Artist Sarah Maple organised a Postcard Auction in support of the Feminism in London conference, October 2010. The event was performed by Jessica Hynes and Miriam Elia

Written by Sally Mumby-Croft

Illustration by Stephanie Thieullent

On Monday 4th October, buy The Aubin Gallery staged a fundraiser organised by artist Sarah Maple in support of the upcoming Feminism in London conference. The exhibition of postcards to be auctioned, cheap represented artists, writers, comediennes, designers and pop stars individual interpretation of contemporary Feminism.

Sarah Maple’s postcard went for the fantastic sum of 200 pounds.

The exhibition opened at 6.30 leaving plenty of time to examine the different ways feminism is understood in contemporary society, before the auction began at 8.

One postcard which struck an interesting note was David Rusbatch’s interpretation and categorising of the three rather didactic stages of feminism (as popularly played out in the press); Frieda Khalo represented Pre-Feminism, Germaine Greer is the symbol of Feminism and Post-Feminism was unsurprisingly a pornographic image.

The raucous event was compared by Jessica Stevenson (Spaced!) and Miriam Elia. These fantastic comedians ensured the audience spent the evening in stitches, through their various attempts to implore and cajole people into bidding.

Photograph by MJw Photography

Coinciding with the main event, was the Silent Auction, where you could find Miriam Elia and Jessica Haynes’ (nee Stevenson) musings on the theme…

Miriam Elia

Jessica Hynes (Nee Stevenson)

Having never been to an auction before, it definitely appears to be more fun with money in your pocket. The 14 pieces which went under the comedically inept hammer were as follows: Julie Opie, Sarah Maple, Julie Verhoeven, Stuart Semple, Jo Brand, Kat Banyard, The Girls, Bob London, Susie Orbach, Kate Nash, Viv Albertine (the Slits), Sarah Lederman, Gerald Laing and Piers Secunda. The majority of the prints went for around £70, with Julian Opie being one of the three postcards to leap over £100.

After becoming enamored with Bob London’s Emily Pankhurst, the Wilderness Years stating “it will make me laugh everyday.” Jessica
asked whether it would be ok to place a bid herself (who would say no?!) before snapping it up for 60 quid.

Jo Brand’s “Feminism is about” postcard fetched 70 pounds.

Piers Secunda’s “I love you forever” written with a broken biro (with forever crossed out) brokered an unexpected bidding war, leaving Jessica to comment that people in the auidence could obviously spot ‘real’ art. The postcard went for 125 pounds, sadly neither of two girls who started the bidding won this particular postcard. Both were pipped to the post by a late contestant.

Stuart Semple raised £65 pounds after starting at 22p.

This month sees the release of Made in Dagenham, a feature film documenting the strike action taken by 187 Ford sowing machinists who refused to work until they received equal pay. After a recent appearance of a few of the campaigners on Women’s Hour it was disclosed that the pay gap between men and women (where it occurs) is larger than the difference these women originally fought for. Could there be a more apt time to bring feminism discussion back into mainstream conciseness?

Sarah Maple produced a fantastic warm up for Feminism in London, which will be taking place on Saturday 23rd October.


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