Ren Aldridge

My article about Ren Aldridge’s feminist artwork up on Soapbox Press.

Soapbox Press

“Give us a smile, love.”

Surely that jovial statement can’t be street harassment. The speaker isn’t name-calling or slut-shaming. They aren’t grabbing you or following you along the street – but this comment is more than just a comment; it is a command. Someone else is demanding that you make yourself seem more friendly, amiable and sweet for their gratification. Ren Aldridge, Fine Art graduate from Goldsmiths, recognises this underlying message and challenges it. Through the creation of a large-scale, imposing sculpture, she is turning this intangible ‘passing comment’ into an ‘asshole’ of a sculpture. I met with Ren at her exhibition at ULU Play House Project space to talk about her work and the importance of feminism today.

Give Us A Smile - Park

All of Ren’s work exhibited at the Play House Project centres round the theme of street harassment. The work ranges from the monumental sculpture to interactive maps and includes an accumulative video…

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UK Feminista Summer School ’13

So, on Saturday 17th August, I headed over to Birmingham University to attend UK Feminista’s Summer School 2013. The Society was invited to host a creative stall and so I arrived laden with magazines, scissors and fabric ready to get making badges and a scrapbook.


I was a bit worried that people wouldn’t join me… I think people can be a bit daunted by getting creative. But within about 20 mins, I couple of girls from a school in Edinburgh had joined me and made a great start to the scrapbook. On a side note, they’re setting up a Feminist Club at their school – I think its so exciting that people in schools are looking into Feminism and making it relevant to them.


Somebody at one point came over asked me if I was running a Craftivism stall. I was a bit flummoxed and didn’t want to yes to something I wasn’t sure I was doing, but I’ve just google searched and found this:

Craftivism sounds pretty cool and it’s something I would like to look in to further, especially as a society at an arts uni. I’d read in the book Art and Feminism about women’s crafts and art before. Miriam Schapiro, a feminist artist who created works defined as femmage is featured in Art and Feminism:

“…the culture of women will remain unrecognised until women themselves regard their own past with fresh insight. To correct this situation, must we try to insert women’s traditional art into the mainstream? How will the authorities be convinced that what they consider low art is worth representing in history? The answer does not lie in mainstream art at all, but in sharing women’s information with women” – Melissa Meyer and Miriam Schaprio, ‘femmage’, 1978.

Expect more Craftivism soon then!

Whilst at the Summer School, I managed to get along to the workshop on setting up and running a powerful Feminist group I picked up a good few tips and so we’ll be working hard this year to make UAL FemSoc become more engaging and active!

I also sat in on the discussion “The Art of Activism” which had Campbell X, Filmaker; Sarah Maple, Contemporary Artist; and Suzee Morayef, Writer and Journalist on the panel. As an art student, I really enjoyed this discussion and was exposed to some fascinating work going on the feminist world. Be sure to them all out!

I’ll be writing soon with the PDF copy of the scrapbook. Until then,

Love, Laughter and Life,


Co-founder of UAL FemSoc