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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Artists open the door to taboo in the Changing Room

From Denise Zygadlo and Jo Hodges

Artists Jo Hodges and Denise Zygadlo have been exploring one of society's last taboos in their new work. They have transformed six wardrobes into an interactive installation and are inviting people to come and explore the contents.

Rarely talked about openly, the menopause is hidden from view in our culture and the subject can still cause some embarrassment and awkwardness. For Changing Room the artists wanted to open up the subject, creating new contents for the wardrobes, through which visitors can explore this important time of transition. Also to be discovered, is work made by women from Dumfries and Galloway who attended a series of creative days during September facilitated by Lee Seekings-Norman

Jo Hodges said, ‘Everyone will know somebody going through the menopause, a mother, other relative or friend. It can be a challenging time of physical changes and mood swings and even though it happens to every woman, it is rarely discussed. We’re trying to raise awareness and understanding of the complexities of the menopause through the exhibition. It sounds quite a serious subject, but there’s also a lot of playfulness and fun in it. The exhibition’s not just for women ‘of a certain age’, but for everyone.”

Denise Zygadlo said, “We have used wardrobes for the exhibition as, to us, they represent identity and personal space. We’ve had a really fantastic time working with other women who came to the creative days and transforming the wardrobes. We hope people will come along and enjoy exploring the contents and finding the hidden details. ”

The exhibition is a Luminate, Scotland’s creative ageing festival, commission.
Anne Gallacher, Director of Luminate said, “I am delighted that Luminate has enabled this important creative project to take place. The menopause remains a subject that is rarely discussed, and I hope that Changing Room will go some way to changing that. Jo Hodges’ and Denise Zygadlo’s work, along with work created by other local women, has much to say to us all about this important transition in women’s lives”.

There will be a performance by young women from Dumfries Youth Theatre at the Changing Room opening on 21 October (6pm Electric Theatre Workshop, Munches St, Dumfries). Justin Hyslop, Associate Director of Electric Theatre Workshop said, “Dumfries Youth Theatre and Electric Theatre Workshop are excited to be working on this production. This project has given five of our participants the opportunity to work on a professional platform. Working from a brief, they have created a short piece of theatre which will open the exhibition.”

Listings Information
The exhibition is free

Electric Theatre Workshop
28. Munches St, Dumfries
Tuesday 21 - Friday 31 October 9-5pm
Saturday 25 October 11-3pm. Closed Sunday

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