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  1. Anja Stenina, Interpretation of Gemma J. Howell’s poem Madame’s Menu,
    Digital collage, 2023
    Madame’s Menu
    Our main dishes this evening include:
    Top-Choice Tori who is 24 and a perfect size 8.
    With honeyed hair and baby-blue eyes,
    she’s a High-class Escort and Glamour Model.
    She has succulent breasts and curves
    in all the right places with a busty 32C cup.
    She is bronzed all over.
    She’s a spicy, saucy, sexy lady
    who loves to tease and aims to please.
    Or, there is a second choice of Toni.
    She’s getting on a bit at 32, and is a size 10.
    With peroxide extensions, blue contact lenses,
    she’s a cam-girl and cervical cancer survivor.
    In a Wonderbra and tutu she models for favours.
    Abused by her stepdad then evicted at 14,
    she turned tricks to survive.
    But, with a convincing wig and a painful smile
    she’ll give the infamous Tori tit-wank
    and say it was just for you.
    For dessert we have the Naughty Nikita.
    She’s only 18 and is a slim size 6.
    With a tiny waist and a pert bust,
    our Russian Princess has
    hot-chocolate hair, full cherry lips
    and sweet almond eyes.
    She’s a student nurse and a high-class escort.
    She’s a girl-next-door type.,
    Who’ll give you a one-on-one full girlfriend experience.
    Or perhaps you would rather a Natia.
    She’s 19 and a pre-pubescent size 4.
    Originally from Prague,
    she worked the stag scene.
    Arriving in Britain just one month ago
    she finally escaped the grip of her pimp.
    She has frizzy hair, sallow skin
    and a Meth Amphetamine problem.
    Poem by Gemma Howell, 2015
    In her poem, Madame’s Menu, Gemma June Howell uses détournement as a
    technique to deliver a critique. The poem appropriates the syntactic qualities of
    idealised advertisement slogans and transforms them into visceral social images.
    The poem subverts the mythologised idea of seduction into a story of
    exploitation. The adult advertisement format is repeated in every stanza to
    introduce the ‘product’. Every advertisement lists the qualities of escort women
    while mixing them with gastronomic descriptions, stylistically mimicking
    restaurant menu expressions. Every line is in the form of an advertisement,
    which starts with the seductive descriptions of women. The description is
    designed for the male gaze and gastronomic descriptions seamlessly interplay
    with physical descriptions of sex workers.
    Howell, G. J (et al) (2015), Hallelujah for 50ft Women, Poems about women’s
    relationship to their bodies, Bloodaxe Books
  2. Gemma June Howell, Another Bun in the Oven, film, 2021
    This film was prepared for The Frequency House Swansea Poetry Slam 2021.
    Another Bun in the Oven
    Another Bun in the Oven
    A’rite? Nairmz Rhiannon,
    an I leve on thuh Rock.
    I luv drinken ciduh,
    an I luv sucken cock.
    I wanna bee yin college,
    buh I go’ uh lickle kid.
    An-uh crèche in college
    aint tha fucken big.
    My muvva wun elp me,
    cuz I nict er tellee.
    An my ole man iza preck.
    Ee puncht er in th’bellee.
    Nutz in skool, I wuz.
    Chucken chairz un sellen fagz.
    Expelled ut firteen, I wuz,
    f’robbin uh teachuz bagz.
    It wuz f’thuh best ough,
    I wuz pregnunt wiv Levi,
    Mist all uv my examz, I ded.
    Tuh my life I sed g’bye.
    My felluz shaggen round,
    iss bin gor en ona wi-yul.
    Iss bairbeez bout t’drop soon.
    Weyull gor on Jeremee ki-yul.
    Sor, I angah round uh shops,
    tuh see oo eez shaggen.
    All-uh boyz cum on tuh me,
    finken I’m out slaggen!
    My boobs uh fucken killin
    An my belleez rock ard.
    Bastad duzunt giva shit,
    now eez wiv iz new tart.
    Anuva kid.
    Anuva Giro.
    Iz tha all wee-yuh werff?
    Iz ent air more too wis yere life
    un givin fuckin berff?
    Anuva drink.
    Anuva fag.
    Anuva spliff,
    or pill.
    Wee-yuh fucken ewmuns yuh,
    not pigs in fucken swill!
    Howell, G. J (2023), Another Bun in the Oven, IN, Yer Ower Voices!: Dialect
    poems in Welsh and English from Cymru by Mike Jenkins | WHSmith (no date)
    ’WHSmith. Available at:
    Read more about Gemma’s poetry here:
    Jamieson, A. (2015) ‘Launch of Rock Life: 17 Poems from the Welsh Valleys by
    Gemma June Howell (Nos Da, Cardiff, 20/11/15)’, Sabotage, 13 December.
    Available at:
    poems-by-gemma-june-howell-nos-da-cardiff-201115/ (Accessed: 8 October
  3. Claire Francis – Domestic heritage, installation, 2023
    Table cloth, oil paint, pastel, pencil, embroidery. This work looks at knowledge
    passed on in feminine spaces, arching back to the suffrage movement; plans for
    change made over drinking tea. Hidden in femininity. Protected. Feminine
    heritage. social boundaries and manifestations of experiential knowledge and
    tangible / intangible heritage.
    Artist Statement:
    In her evocative body of work, artist Claire Francis explores the intersection of
    knowledge, femininity, and the often-hidden aspects of heritage. Using a diverse
    array of mediums, including oil paint, pastel, pencil and embroidery, Francis
    delves into the rich tapestry of experiences and stories that have been passed
    down within feminine spaces.
    This body of work serves as a visual testament to the enduring legacy of
    knowledge and wisdom that has been exchanged amongst women throughout
    history. It harkens back to the suffrage movement, where women gathered over
    tea, conceiving their plans for change in a society that often overlooked their
    With a keen eye for the subtleties of social boundaries, Francis invites viewers to
    contemplate the tangible and intangible manifestations of experiential knowledge.
    The narrative unfurls as a mesmerising tapestry, revealing the resilience and
    influence of women who have shaped society from the shadows. The artworks
    themselves become a sanctuary, a place where the stories, memories, and
    secrets of generations of women are safeguarded.
    In a fascinating juxtaposition, the artist also alludes to the ancient practice of
    ritual cave paintings, where knowledge and tradition were etched into both the
    rock and time. This reference underscores the enduring nature of feminine
    heritage, spanning across millennia and evokes a sense of continuity in the face
    of changing social landscapes.
    This collection of artworks invites us to look backwards in history, unveiling the
    hidden layers of the feminine experience, offering a glimpse into the concealed
    power of femininity and the transformative potential held within the gatherings,
    where plans for change were woven into the fabric of society. Francis’ work
    becomes a bridge between past and present, inviting us to reflect on the
    enduring power of femininity and the transformative potential that resides within
    the stories shared within the domestic space.
    Claire Francis – Domestic Heritage, film, 2023
    The film explores the passing on of the experiential knowledge.
    The symbolism of the loss of water when pouring into the sieve, represents the
    loss of wisdom and knowledge that is not recognised in official discourses.
    In their film, the artist explores the profound theme of the transference of
    knowledge within the context of domestic heritage, inviting viewers into the heart
    of a family circle where individuals of different ages unite to partake in a ritual rich
    in symbolism. At the core of this cinematic exploration lies the poignant subject of
    passing on experiential knowledge, and the subtle yet profound symbolism of
    water as a carrier of memory and wisdom.
    The act of pouring water into the tea cup and over its walls, serves as a poignant
    metaphor for the loss of wisdom and knowledge that frequently goes
    unrecognised. In this intimate ritual, the audience witnesses the essence of
    generational continuity. The sieve, a vessel bearing a rich cultural heritage,
    becomes a vessel of both physical and metaphysical importance.
    As the water flows into the sieve, it carries with it the collective memory of their
    ancestors, the wisdom of past generations, and the experiences of those who
    have walked the path before them. Water, as a symbol of memory retention,
    encapsulates the essence of their shared history and the treasures of familial
    heritage. It is in this unassuming act, within the intimate circle of family members,
    that the passing on of memory takes place.
    The film is a visual testament to the enduring power of familial bonds and the
    value of preserving and transferring experiential knowledge from one generation
    to the next. Through the symbolic act of pouring water into the sieve, the artist
    acknowledges the profound importance of recognizing and cherishing the
    wisdom that may not always find its place in official narratives.
    In essence, their work serves as a tribute to the resilience of domestic heritage
    and the beauty of the transference of knowledge within the family circle. It
    reminds us that, like water, knowledge and memory flow through the generations,
    connecting us to our roots and shaping our future.
  4. Anja Stenina, Mule Story Part III: Neither the time nor the place, film, 2023
    The film shows a plasticine mule that dances to the chorus that says: Not here!
    Not now! The plasticine figure represents a placeholder for every[wo]man, every
    harmed knower. It is a figure that embodies epistemic pain.
    The scene portrays the experiential world of a knower who cannot find the time
    or place to contribute. The Mule is looking for the time and cannot find it, the
    Mule is looking for the place and cannot find it. The mule figure is guided by the
    motherly voice that repeats ‘Not here! Not now!’ in a patronising and controlling
    manner. The Mule performs different expressions of searching, walking, lost,
    crawling on its knees, etc. The Mule does not understand that the game is rigged
    and what it should be looking for is not the time or the place, but authority and
    intelligibility for her voice to be heard. The Mule embodies a discourse that did
    not come to be, it portrays the speech or voice that is unintelligible and without
    authority, it portrays a pathetic character in an absurd situation; misshapen and
    under-sculpted. It portrays the interrupted or misinterpreted speech of the
    marginalised. The Mule is distorted, alien, out of place and out of time. The song,
    Not here! Not now!, dramatises the experiential time and place of the unknowing
    of the marginalised knower. The viewer is invited to co-experience the loss of
    epistemic agency together with the lost mule.
  5. Rufus Mufasa (with Angela Karadog Marion Cheung Rhian Anderson),
    Swynwraig Denim Dwbl
    Led by Rufus Mufasa and a team of textiles experts, using denim & fabrics
    created a DENIM DWBL patchwork banner in preparation for the Hop-tŷ Denim
    Dwbl parade happening in October 2023. Swynwraig is a partnership project
    between Undercurrents (Arts in the Aber Valley community group, Caerphilly
    County Borough Council and Addo).
    “Through using mixed media & textiles we explored themes affecting women &
    girls, looked for feminism in indigenous languages & celebrated mothers & artists
    & set up ecosystems to empower & support professional development, wellbeing
    & Welsh on new terms”. Rufus Mufasa
    More on the project:
  6. Alina Skorohoda, Mental Load, film, 2018
    In her work “Mental Load” Skorohoda delves deep into the realms of domesticity,
    identity, gender, and the often overlooked yet burdensome concept of the mental
    load that women carry.
    At the center of the artwork stands a powerful protagonist, a woman, who strides
    into the sea, bearing an oversized garden washing hanger. This seemingly
    mundane object becomes a poignant symbol of domestic duties and
    responsibilities that persist even in the context of a holiday. Through this
    evocative scene, Skorohoda presents a stark commentary on the unrelenting
    nature of the mental and emotional labour that women frequently shoulder.
    As the protagonist walks into the sea, it can be interpreted as an act of existential
    contemplation, a symbolic attempt to escape the ceaseless demands placed
    upon her. The sea becomes a metaphorical space for release, a place where the
    weight of societal expectations and the mental load can momentarily dissipate.
  7. Darren Cullen, Santa Gives More to Rich Kids Than Poor Kids
    More | Spelling Mistakes Cost Lives // Darren Cullen
    Student art attacks commercial spirit of Christmas | Students | The
    Student’s anti-Santa poster scrapped | Students | The Guardian
    “Britain hating anarchist who knows the value of nothing” – Tory MP Johnny
    “”Artist”” – Daily Mail
    Darren Cullen’s 2005 campaign to put an end to the commercialisation of
    Christmas, launched an attack on the advertising industry’s targeting of children
    via a billboard on Glasgow’s Balmore Road as part of a public art show ahead of
    his degree show. The installation was almost scrapped as the original sign
    company involved determined it to be too contentious.
    “Santa Claus is a lie that teaches kids that products will make them happy.
    Before they’re old enough to think for themselves, the story of Santa has already
    got them hooked on consumerism. I think that’s more immoral than this
    billboard,” said Mr Cullen, who spent four years studying advertising before
    becoming disenchanted with the industry and switching to Glasgow School of
    Art’s environmental art course.
    “I think I’ll be characterised as a Scrooge but I see it as a serious issue. Children
    have no intellectual self-defence against marketing and advertising and in that
    way they are easy targets.”
    “Today people are living far beyond their means, going into debt, buying things
    they can’t afford, because they have this belief that any problem can be solved
    and happiness can be achieved through the buying of products…”
    “Now that, for the most part, is down to advertising, which manipulates people’s
    desires and keeps them reliant on purchases for satisfaction.”
    “But when those consumers were children, instead of Christmas being a
    celebration of Jesus, who was quite a vocal opponent of materialism and,
    therefore, a rubbish spokesman for Christmas – they were told about Santa Claus
    and all the amazing shiny products he was going to bring them, all for free.”
  8. Anja Stenina, Mule Story Part I: Once Upon A Time, film, 2023, Mule Story
    Part II: Once Upon A Time, film, 2023
    The Mule Story takes the viewer on a journey into the depths of the social
    unknowing. The story’s core idea is epistemic injustice, which means
    undermining someone in their capacity as a knower. The main character is a
    harmed knower. The main protagonist, The Mule, portrays the harmed knower as
    a tragi-comical character.
    The story follows the production line of mundane silencing. The designed social
    location in the scenes is a fictional but familiar social interstice where social
    communication and understanding break. To bring the viewer’s attention to
    everyday manifestations of epistemic injustice, The Mule Story films parody
    mundane situations that contain prescribed speech. The Mule vignettes attempt
    to retrospectively zoom-in-on epistemic crimes. The film is a horror story of
    vicious correspondence. Where myth and common sense are not what they
    seem and the prevalence of prescribed speech and monologism in everyday
    mundane interactions take on a sinister aspect. The work explores expressions
    of fear, doubt and self-approving superiority in relation to the speaking position in
    society. Marginalised identities often cannot be addressers of their Lived
    Experience due to epistemic injustice. The Mule story trilogy portrays the Mule
    experiencing pain that is inconceivable, or conceivable but indescribable, or
    describable but uncommunicative, fictional but familiar. A place many of us have
    inhabited, a shared ‘typical’ social interstice characterised by unknowing and
  9. Anja Stenina, Mundane Protest, sculpture, 2023
    The sculpture in the shape of a speech bubble on the broomstick is designed for
    dynamic social commentary and socially engaged practice. The surface of the
    speech bubble works as a whiteboard and text can be easily erased and
    replaced. The sculpture is dynamic, in the sense that it can change during the
    exhibition if the author finds a better “phrase of the day”. The phrases on the
    clouds attempt to capture mundane mythologies, the manifestations of the
    everyday unknowing that we encounter in our daily lives. The texts are
    expressions of the experientially uncomfortable and typical speech situations,
    indignities and communicative obstacles we encounter on our mundane
  10. Post-it Notes project by Rakumancy Artist Triad, 2023
    In this project, three artists Anja Stenina, Claire Francis and Esther Ley bring
    together social commentary and sculpture. Esther Ley’s many years of expertise
    in ceramics allowed this critical and, at the same time, playful creative endeavour
    to take shape. The artist triad has collected people’s testimonies of the
    uncomfortable commentary, feedback and statements regarding the art
    profession, art practice, and art in general.
    Whether it be unsolicited advice, harsh criticism, or societal assumptions about
    art, these words and experiences are often hidden from the public eye. To reveal
    the unspoken narratives and social assumptions that exist behind the scenes of
    the art world, individuals were encouraged to share their experiences
    The artist triad took great care in transferring the shared testimonials onto these
    clay Post-it notes, ensuring that the original handwriting and expressions of the
    contributors were preserved. This attention to detail adds a layer of authenticity
    to the project, as each ceramic Post-it note becomes a unique representation of
    the voices within the art community.The resulting collection of ceramic Post-it
    notes serves as a mirror, reflecting back to the public the often-uncomfortable
    truths and societal judgments that artists face regularly.