The London Calling Collective
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Radical Women: Seeing Red
The history of women artist collectives is long and storied and endures today. The London Calling Collective was born from seven loosely associated artists who traveled to London in October 2019 for a quick art trip. When lock-down came to NYC this inadvertent group of women continued their connection through Whatsapp and Zoom. In dozens of messages throughout each day, and two Zoom meetings a week, throughout quarantine and into today, a bond of friendship grew. Anxieties and information about the pandemic were discussed, meals and recipes shared, along with advice, books, films, artists, exhibitions, art opportunities, nightly sunsets, things seen out windows, politics, protests and actions, first gatherings and personal stories. An unplanned impromptu group led to a tightly knit, strong, intimate, resilient, innovative cohort of women. The London Calling Collective responded to the challenges of the day by building deep friendships and a chosen family.
The 100th anniversary of the passing of the 19th Amendment, Women’s Right to Vote, takes place August 26, 2020, the day this exhibition opens. For Ellen Hackl Fagan, director of ODETTA, radical is women joining together to march, protest, and fight for civil rights, as well as artists taking the chance to make and show their work to the world. The Harlem townhouse that houses ODETTA gallery reflects the domestic sphere where women have historically lived, worked, built families and friendships, fought and loved; a fitting space for this exhibition.
The LC Collective reveals once again the legacy of women coming together to forge loving families, build community, to plot and to plan to help real change happen. In this intimate exhibition of seven women sheltering in place while staying connected through the digital realm, radical is found in the ties that thread them together. The works reflect the relationships between these artists, individually and as a group, and reimagine community for life during and after a pandemic.
—PATRICIA MIRANDA, CURATOR