RE-IMAGINING LADIES TIGHTS PRESS RELEASE

RE-IMAGINING LADIES TIGHTS

CATFORD AND ACROSS LONDON BOROUGH OF LEWISHAM

GATHERINGS: age UK, Lewisham & Southwark,

10 Catford Broadway, Catford, SE6 4SP

Collecting old tights and stockings, public washing, creating yarn while storytelling, a promenade photoshoot before producing something new, this project will re-imagine how women perceive these easily discarded garments.

When women wear tights or stockings, how do they view themselves? How does it make them feel and how are they perceived? Do tights and stockings dictate how society is formed?

Russian women wear tights in Moscow as ‘it’s seen as trashy not to wear tights’ whereas in Gambia ‘some girls would wear fishnets – people would look at them badly thinking they are call girls’ When a Gambian woman meets a Russian woman in Catford, South London, how do they perceive each other?

Re-imagining Ladies Tights is a live conceptual art performance experience that examines the role of tights and stocking in our society. Commissioned by Lewisham Council, with support from Arts Council England, art-duo Akleriah will be collecting broken tights and stockings from across the London Borough of Lewisham, supported by Platform-7, to ask why such easily disposable attire carries so much kudos.

Part of Lewisham Council’s drive to encourage more textile recycling, this 6 week intervention in Catford will ask women to consider the wider issues and their relationship with tights and stockings. It will examine the politics that surrounds an item that appears to be essential apparel and discuss how women use tights and stockings beyond a fashion accessory while men often distinguish alternative views.

In series of female-only gatherings at ‘age UK’s’ Catford Broadway shop, the performance experience will generate stories and thoughts on the attire that has shaped female body image for over four generations. By publically displaying these stories on the walls of the old Catford Civic Centre, the project looks to unveil how women distinguish themselves and how men identify with tights and stockings.

The event begins with our collection from specially handmade recycled bags for recycling tights hanging in locations across Lewisham, including Lesoco (formally Lewisham College), Goldsmiths, age UK, Laban, Lewisham / Catford town centres. Full details on the blog and details on how to order a recycle bag for a specific location.

A public wash performance will take place on 21st May in Catford Broadway before the tights are cut into yarn on 28th May to create something completely re-imagined. Women over 18 from any background can become involved in this FREE unique explorative event and asked to donate an item to age UK to be sold in the shop or purchase an item to support the work of this important local charity.

For Akleriah, the event allows them to investigate “the image, gender politics, social and material value of women’s tights. By working with women volunteers in Catford and their personal tights’ stories, it is envisaged that a more significant social meaning, which discarded tights carry, and make their recycling problematic and challenging, will be addressed”.

Councillor Susan Wise, Cabinet Member for Customer Services, said: “This is a really interesting idea and I hope it will help women reflect on some of the many social expectations placed on them. Of course, there’s also a very practical element to this installation and performance. We want women to recycle their old tights and stockings by putting them in the textile bring banks across the borough.”

John McKiernan, founder of Platform-7 Events said: “The ethos and name of Platform-7 Events derives from London Bridge Railway station having 16 platforms yet no platform 7, few commuters notice this. The company presents astute art interventions that engage people and encourages us to explore the significant in the everyday, the world that surrounds us and issues that impact our environment”

Logos: Arts Council England // AgeUK Lewisham & Southwark // London Borough of Lewisham

NOTES FOR EDITORS

Bags Location and Requests

Bags for re-cycling of tights can be requested by emailing : re-imagining@mail.com

Locations of tight collection points can be found here : http://re-imaginingtights.tumblr.com/collection-points

Akleriah

Akleriah was founded in 2009 by multi-media conceptual artists Anna Kompaniets and Lenka Horakova. Coming from Russian and Czech backgrounds their work is inspired by their heritage, folklore, philosophy, spiritualism and current environmental issues. Akleriah create a performative multi-dimensional art experience with collaborators from dance, music, theatre, film and other creative fields. Akleriah performances and workshops also act as a ‘meeting place’ to create a close knit community. Akleriah have previously performed at Tate Britain, The Queen’s House Royal Museums Greenwich, Turner Contemporary, Shunt Vaults among other public spaces, museums and galleries.

http://www.akleriah.com

PLATFORM-7

Platform-7 is South London based micro events company that curates and facilitates abstract live art performance in public spaces. Formed in 2009, the company has developed a number of highly successful interventions including a single event across multiple London Underground stations exploring war on Remembrance Sunday (2012), discussing the politics of the videocassette in a disused Blockbuster Videostore in Catford (2012), questioning the Turner Contemporary and regeneration policy in Margate (2011), and perception of conflict in various cemeteries at night (2009-2011).

http://www.platform-7.com

age UK

10 Catford Broadway, Catford, SE6 4SP

age UK Lewisham and Southwark is a trusted local charity with over 30 years of experience of working to improve life for older people. We deliver services to support the most vulnerable, socially excluded and isolated older members of our community, delivering preventative solutions to negate the emotional, financial and physical challenges that many older people face.

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/lewishamandsouthwark/

Arts Council England

Arts Council England champions, develops and invests in artistic and cultural experiences that enrich people’s lives. We support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to digital art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better.

http://www.artscouncil.org.uk

How to get there:

Catford is well served by public transport and has plenty parking

Train: Catford (2mins), Catford Bridge (2mins), Ladywell (12mins), Hither Green (12mins) and Lee (15mins) railway station (walking times)

Bus: 47 Catford Garage – Shoreditch via Lewisham

54 Elmers End – Woolwich via Blackheath

75 Croydon Town Centre – Lewisham via Penge

124 Eltham – Catford (St. Dunstans College) via Mottingham, Grove Park and Torridon Road

136 Grove Park – Peckham via Goldsmith’s College

160 Catford Bridge Station – Sidcup via Eltham.

171 Catford Garage – Holborn Station via Brockley, Peckham and Waterloo

181 Grove Park – Lewisham via Downham

185 Lewisham – Victoria via Dulwich

199 Catford Garage – Canada Water/Surrey Quays via Greenwich

202 Crystal Palace – Blackheath Royal Standard via Catford

208 Lewisham – Orpington via Catford and Bromley

284 Lewisham – Grove Park via Crofton Park and Verdant Lane

320 Catford – Biggin Hill Valley via Bromley

336 Catford – Locks Bottom via Bromley

Car: Plenty Parking

Further media enquiries

Contact John McKiernan

johnm@platform-7.com

07808 808 704

Blog: http://re-imaginingtights.tumblr.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ReImaginingLadiesTights?ref=hl

Twitter: https://twitter.com/reimaginetights

Further Event information: http://www.platform-7.com/#!reimagining-ladies-tights/c1a8g

Websites:

http://www.akleriah.com

http://www.platform-7.com

http://www.ageuk.org.uk/lewishamandsouthwark/

http://www.lewisham.gov.uk