22 international artists came together to create an art exhibit in the U.K. that uses women’s stockings to explore feminist issues.
The Carl Freedman Gallery in Margate showcases the work of these artists whose subject matter is traditionally stockings. The exhibit is meant to explore themes of race, gender, femininity, and subversion.
The curator of the show is Zoe Bedeaux, who is known for working with fashion and “the conversation of clothes.” Bedeaux brought together artists from a range of countries including Belgium, Mexico, China, the United States, and many others.
Bedeaux talks about loving “the disparity and the breadth … And then you’ve got all these other dialogues going on … Tights are the base material, but this show is not about the tights.” Women’s pantyhose are traditionally symbols of femininity, being both strong and fragile in the way that stockings will stretch far until they begin to break apart at the seams. Bedeaux goes on to explain that nude pantyhose can also be seen as symbols of race because of the limited shade options that are available.
Some exhibits include a range of commentary on feminist topics. Some art pieces focus on social topics such as women’s sexual behavior in public places and images of men wearing stockings. Others focus on more political topics such as the women who were murdered in Mexico in the 1990s.
Bedeaux talking about the pantyhose says, “Tights are highly transformative, loaded with all sorts of socio-political connotations. The show is complex, it’s not a show about tights per se: it’s about possibilities that can come from using a particular object outside of its utilitarian function. This show explores the alchemy of hosiery.”
Sources: Independent 10/11/19, Guardian 9/27/19