24 Apr, 14:00
Thinking about Monica: Monica Sjöö, an introduction

Zoom link to the event: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87036204319

Welcome to an afternoon of presentations, a screening and discussion with Dr Sue Tate, Mariana Vodovosoff and Jane Jackson, director of Portrait (Monica Sjöö), 1977, convened by Nadia Hebson, as part of the exhibition Scène d’Amour at Mint.

Painter, writer, radical anarcho-eco feminist Monica Sjöö was born in Härnösand, Sweden in 1931 but spent much of her life living and working in Bristol, U.K. Her strident paintings explore political themes and personal beliefs, many centred on her deep interest in the Goddess Movement which she researched, published and lectured on extensively. Together with Barbara Mor, Monica Sjöö authored The Ancient Religion of the Great Cosmic Mother of All (1981), considered a classic text of female spirituality. Of the book Sjöö wrote ‘I have tried to write a Herstory of the inner psychic meaning of the ancient religion. And of the self-awareness of those strong AND subtle women of the past – of those women who had not yet been split in half in their bodies and souls/ minds – who projected their knowledge, powers and perceptions into the image and sacred rites of the Great Goddess.’

Active in the women’s liberation, eco-feminist and peace movements, Monica Sjöö campaigned, demonstrated and made paintings, pamphlets and posters. An outspoken pioneer of feminist art, her forceful legacy in its expanded form – painting, writing, activism and scholarship – can be seen to have a heightened resonance in the current historical moment.

This is the first of three discoursive events organised by Nadia Hebson, in parallel to the exhibition Scène d’Amour, which will explore the life and work of Monica Sjöö and the ongoing projects of artistic recuperation undertaken by artists, curators and art historians working today. In considering the legacy of historical figures how can we critically explore the complexity of their lives and work whilst avoiding hagiography? These events are hosted by Mint and are part of Hebson’s ongoing research project Destroy She Said and are realised with the support of Royal Institute of Art artistic research and development funding.