24 Feb From Juarez to Brierfield – International artists highlight violence against women
A unique live art installation of red shoes, symbolising women who’ve been the victims of extreme violence, will take shape for the first time in the UK at Northlight, Brierfield Mill this week.
The public art installation and performance will launch on Saturday 28 February from 12 noon until 4pm and includes a performance by Georgianna C. Ainsworth starting at 1pm.
The Mexican artist Georgianna Ainsworth is asking for donations of shoes in any colour, in advance of the compelling performance which is a reproduction of Mexican Artist Elina Chauvet’s protest art work.
Shoes can be dropped off at Brierfield Library or brought to Northlight, Brierfield Mill on Sat 28th February from 12 noon on the day.
Elina Chauvets’ The Red Shoes is a symbolic installation in honour of the hundreds of women and girls who have been killed in Juárez, Mexico’s most dangerous city.
People can help to paint the shoes and put a message of support into the shoes for women in Mexico.
Georgianna C. Ainsworth will also create two more installations at Northlight on 28 February:
Flowers of the Desert, a print piece inspired by the thousands of women murdered in Juarez in the last 20 years. These images are in a design inspired by Mexican embroidery with bright colours which help highlight the duality of living in fear in such a beautiful country
Trapitos Sucios or Dirty Laundry – is Georgianna’s archive of missing people’s posters which she has collected via social media either from the families of the missing or through dedicated pages where people post images of their missing family members.
The people in these posters have disappeared either for ransom, human or organ trafficking or extortion. Many have been murdered.
Georgianna has printed over 1000 images and will be printing more at Northlight as part of her live art work installation on Saturday 28 February.
The event is part of an exhibition by four artists called Presence of an Absence, highlighting the plight of women who’ve been abducted and murdered in Mexico.
The artists have been invited by In-Situ arts of Brierfield, a creative collective based both at a new arts workshop in the historic mill at Northlight and at Brierfield Library.
William Titley of In-Situ said: “These artists raise awareness of a very specific and pressing situation through their art’.
“They use photography, film, print-making and performance to represent experiences of violence and loss, drawing attention to the missing victims of violence both in Mexico and around the world,” he explained.
“I urge people to come and witness this important and powerful installation, both in the mill and at Brierfield Library.”
Councillor Joe Cooney, Leader of Pendle Council and a board member of PEARL which owns the historic mill, said:
“It’s a great coup to have important international artists working and exhibiting in Brierfield and Red Shoes is a UK first.
“This installation, a year after In-Situ’s International Arts Symposium at Northlight, ensures the arts continue to play an important part at the mill complex, ” he said.
“It helps to put our stunning mill under the spotlight as our work continues to transform the historic seven acre site into an exciting new destination for the North West,” he added.
Artist Georgianna C. Ainsworth, who translated for Elina Chauvet’s work said: “The installation and exhibition is a call for conscience to stand against violence directed towards women around the world.
“It was created to symbolise the deaths of women and girls who are still disappearing and being murdered before the indifferent eyes of the authorities, “ she said.
“The Red Shoes installation began on the 20th of August 2009 with a silent march of 33 missing women.
“The women were represented by the shoes to make their absence visible and show the pain it causes in communities.
The four artists will exhibit Presence of an Absence at Brierfield Library and Northlight Mill from Saturday 28 February until Monday 30 March.
Georgianna added: “Presence of an Absence examines the crumbling effect violence has on a society, exploring the aftermath of murder and abduction.
“By encouraging community participation we hope people will connect with issues happening at the other side of the world but which are relevant in their local community, too.”
The artists are:
Mexican visual artist Elina Chauvet who first placed red shoes in front of the Mexican consulate in El Paso as an artistic protest against violence against women in Juárez.
Georgianna C Ainsworth, a Mexican freelance photographer and fine artist living in Rossendale and studying an art MA at the University of Central Lancashire. Her print installations at Northlight and at the exhibition in Brierfield Library will bring the faces of hundreds of missing people to our attention.
Brian Maguirre, an Irish expressionist artist has produced the moving documentary Blood Rising with Mark McLoughlin. Brian spent 4 years working in Cuidad Juarez creating portraits of murder victims. He gave each family a portrait of their lost loved ones. This documentary focuses on the experiences of the families and the pain of their loss. Brian Maguirre says: “My purpose is to show respect to the victims of violence.”
Rocio Sifuentes whose documentary photographs offer a tiny glimpse into the protests taking place as people search in vain to find loved ones and demand justice