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Phoe McCallum





'Easy Way Out': A global fight against anti-abotion laws.



'Easy Way Out' is a reactionary collection to the current anti-abortion laws that are being put in place around the world.


The aim of this collection is to pay homage to the strength and courage of individuals who have decided to undergo abortions and refute the antiquated stereotype that terminating pregnancy is the ‘easy way out’.


In March 2023 I am starting a Human Rights course in Buenos Aires, with the aim of working towards bridging the gap between women in need of sexual healthcare and the South American healthcare system. Whilst pro-choice options are being put in place, many women never come forward due to the shame so heavily entwined in Latin American culture. I believe that political art, particularly in the non traditional sense, is the most accessible form of communication when it comes to these taboo topics.


My aim will be for women to see this project and feel respected in regard to their autonomous bodily choices, whilst also feeling their hardships have been truly represented. In turn, this project will counteract the sexist taboos held within Latin American society and also be a means of opening up dialogue in regard to menstrual and reproductive rights.


My main inspiration is Paula Rego, whose work I was able to see in person last year at the Tate. Rego’s Abortion series 1999 foregrounds the undying strength of women undergoing such intimate unregulated abortions, she paints with no intention to glorify or romanticise the procedure as she manipulates her muscular, robust women to completely omit the male gaze.


Through my admiration for Rego, I’ve tried to incorporate the concept of female muscularity into my own works, using bright and traditionally ‘unfeminine’ colours to give a muscular appearance to the otherwise nude women I painted.



(This collection is also available at our Gallery)

 

They consider themselves a political reactionary artist with a particular fascination for large, unsettling multimedia sculptures: the balance between political injustice and taboo subjects drives their artistic narrative. As a non-binary (afab) individual they’ve always had an uncomfortable relationship with menstruation, nonetheless, that relationship is theirs and deserves to remain entirely separate from the hands of politics. In turn, this essence of bodily autonomy forefronts their artwork, as they incorporate the grotesque into their work to unnerve their audience and make the limitation of reproductive rights an inescapable issue for all.

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