Stellar line-up of artists including Ai Weiwei, Maggi Hambling, Caroline Coon, Tracey Moffatt, Penelope Slinger, Owanto, Tewodros Hagos, Pam Hogg, Peter Howson and Linder donate works to War Child UK’s October fundraiser curated by InFems
Thirty years on from the famed charity exhibition ‘Little Pieces from Big Stars’ curated by Brian Eno, War Child UK and Flowers Gallery announce an important autumn exhibition and fundraiser.
Opening on 10th October, coinciding with the UN International Day of the Girl Child, the exhibition Lost Girls boldly addresses the profound challenges faced by girls affected by war. Presented by War Child UK and created and curated by Intersectional Feminist Art Collective InFems, Lost Girls aims to empower with a focus on survival rather than victimhood.
Presented by War Child UK and created and curated by Intersectional Feminist Art Collective InFems, Lost Girls aims to empower with a focus on survival rather than victimhood. The exhibition aims to raise funds for War Child UK’s crucial work, providing support to children and their families in 15 countries worldwide.
The selection of artists and curators is purposeful, including individuals who have deep and personal connections with refugee communities, PTSD, or come from territories where War Child provides urgent care and support. InFems Artist-in-Residence and guest co-curator Nadia Duvall is a former child refugee who describes herself as “a bug on a permanent journey. A lost girl with suitcases full of nothing, but heir to a full voice.”
Ai Weiwei is perhaps one of the world’s most famous artists and activists who has consistently sought to highlight the plight of refugees and human rights abuses through his work. He comments,
No matter the extent of efforts dedicated to the welfare of women and children, it consistently falls short of sufficiency. It is impossible to contemplate the prospects of humanity’s future without their presence. In reality, irrespective of the ravages of war, poverty, and environmental upheavals, the most profound repercussions are endured by women and children. When assessing the contemporary level of civilization within our society, there exists a sole criterion: the capacity to safeguard and nurture the health and well-being of women and children.
French Gabonese artist Owanto uses her art to tackle the horrors of female genital mutilation, while Ethiopian artist Tewodros Hagos has dedicated his practice to displaced people, with his latest series of paintings celebrating the power, beauty, and resilience of women. Indigenous Australian artist Tracey Moffatt who has represented her country at the Venice Biennale, explores themes of race, gender, and identity through her powerful photography.
Other artists, such as Maggi Hambling, Marie Harnett, InFems co-Directors Roxana Halls and Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf, art-punk pioneer Linder and Caroline Coon, a hero of the counterculture since the 1960s, place women and girls at the centre of their artistic practice. Many of the participating artists including radical British-born American ‘feminist-surrealist’ Penelope Slinger have created original works specifically for the Lost Girls exhibition.
Lost Girls will take place during Frieze Week, open from 10th – 14th October at Flowers Gallery and will is for sale via Artsy from 26th September- 26th October. In a world filled with constant news of war, this timely exhibition enables the art world to raise awareness and funds, making a positive impact on the lives of girls affected by conflict.
War Child is driven by a single goal – ensuring a safe future for every child affected by war. It works in some of the hardest to reach places to support those who are hardest hit. It aims to reach children as quickly as possible when conflict breaks out and stay long after the cameras have gone to support them through their recovery.
Nearly 90 million girls – or 1 in 5 globally – are living in a conflict zone, with devastating impacts on their health, wellbeing, and future opportunities. War Child works with local communities and governments to help protect and educate children, and support them to heal and learn, for a safer, brighter future.
The exhibition at Flowers Gallery marks War Child’s triumphant return to the gallery after their collaboration on an exhibition three decades ago. The gallery was started by Angela Flowers in 1970, with Penelope Slinger one of Flowers’ first exhibiting artists.
LOST GIRLS – 10th-14th OCTOBER, Flowers Gallery, Cork Street London W1
11th October – International Day of the Girl Child
Since 2012, 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl Child. The day aims to highlight and address the needs and challenges girls face, while promoting girls’ empowerment and the fulfilment of their human rights. The world’s 1.1 billion girls are a source of power, energy, and creativity – and the millions of girls in emergencies are no exception. This year’s International Day of the Girl Child, under the theme EmPOWER Girls: Before, during and after crises, marks the beginning of a year-long effort to spur global attention and action to the challenges and opportunities girls face before, during, and after crises. un.org/en/observances/girl-child-day
War Child UK is the only specialist charity for children affected by conflict. War Child create safe spaces for children to play, learn and access psychological support. Its aim is to reach children as early as possible when conflict breaks out and stay to support them through their recovery – keeping them safe, helping them learn and cope with their experiences, and equipping them with skills for the future.
War Child understands children’s needs, respects their rights, and puts them at the centre of the solution and campaign for changes to policies and practices to support children in conflict, working with children and young people themselves to demand their rights. It also specialises in responding rapidly to emergency crisis situations as-they-happen, to offer immediate and critical aid to keep children safe and help them through their trauma. Together with its partners War Child delivers vital, life-saving work in 15 countries across Europe, Africa, Asia and the Middle East, and Latin America. www.warchild.org.uk
InFems (Intersectional Feminist Art Collective) is an all-women collective comprising of directors Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf, Roxana Halls, and Marie-Anne Mancio, and resident InFem, artist Nadia Duvall whose aim is to empower women and girls from diverse backgrounds to share their stories and become engaged with the arts. InFems stages exhibitions internationally with emerging and established guest artists and facilitates dialogue through the delivery of symposiums, talks and workshops.
Previous exhibitions include: Biting Back and Enjoying the Taste at PADA, Lisbon; No Reserve at Leicester Contemporary, UK; Nightclubbing at M&C Saatchi, London; 5 Needle, 5 Wire at Thamesside Studios, London; an invitation to participate in ‘Bodies in Trouble’ curated by Dr. Anna Havemann at Haus Kunst Mitte, Berlin (November 2022). InFems’s previous charity art project was commissioned by Carolina Herrera for International Women’s Day 2022 with all proceeds going to Fundacio Ared. infems.com