A mural created for international women’s day has been painted by the all female Wom Collective in Brixton. Featuring six different street artists, the mural can be found on the side of the Brixton Street Gym. It is part of an event which also includes an outdoor exhibition in the courtyard of the Brixton Village.
The mural itself is a collaborative piece. It features the images of a series of Goddesses from differing cultures with a pack of hyenas in the front. Each artist was responsible for painting a specific section. It represents female strength and comradery. Paying homage to the representation of women in ancient cultures it also plays with ideas of femininity and leadership.
Representations of Hecarte, Kali and two interpretations of Themis have been painted. This is in addition to a female representation of spring and contrastingly, a pack of hyenas. Painted by Layla Cope the Hyenas are quite notable. Positioned in the centre of the piece and surrounded with a lime green hue. They live in packs and it is the females who lead those packs.
Of the goddesses, the lore of these go back into ancient history. Many have differing stories dependent on which culture is remembering them. Hecate painted by Van Jimmer has her roots predominantly in ancient Greek culture and mythology. She has been seen as the protector of the home as well being associated with crossroads and entrances. Next to her Kali is shown in a more aggressive pose. Painted by Lours, she is a Hindu deity. Seen as a goddess of creation, destruction and power. On the other side, not a deity, but a feminine representation of Spring. It shows a face surrounded by what appears to be Japanese blossom from Damita aka DMT Art.
The sections from Elno and Carleen de Sozer are differing representations of Themis. Representing justice and natural law she is often portrayed with scales and a sword and that’s what Elno has included. Staring straight ahead she wanted her Themis to be looking deeply into the eyes of those looking at her. Holding a sword wrapped in vines this is show of strength behind the law and representative of natural justice. Also featuring in Egyptian mythology Carleen De Sozer’s interpretation is shown side on. She is raising what appears to be a feathered cloak or wing as if pointing at something in the distance. Both artists wanted to reflect that still there are many occasions when natural justice is not applied to women. Women in many parts of the world are still fighting for their rights including in so called ‘developed’ countries.
Exhibition in Brixton Village
The WOM collective is an inclusive group of women street and contemporary artists. They host events and put on exhibitions with the intention of creating a supportive environment for female artists to thrive. The mural in Brixton marked one year since their first major WOM Collective collaboration. Called WOM Inspired, they took over a space in Camberwell as part of a grass roots initiative aimed at supporting and promoting artists. Just a few weeks later the first UK lockdown kicked in.
Now their second exhibition is an outdoor one. Hosted in a gazebo within the courtyard of the Brixton Village. It has been designed to be accessible within existing lockdown parameters. The show features single works from artists who are part of the collective. Showcasing examples of the work you can learn more about the artist and then be directed to their online platforms. Both the exhibition and the mural are just a few mins walk from each other so well worth seeing.
The WOM Collective mural in Brixton was painted over the weekend of 7th and 8th March 2021. It’s accompanying exhibition is in the Brixton Village courtyard and runs from 6th March to 12th April 2021. The mural can be found on the front of Brixton Street Gym at 10 Somerleyton Road in Brixton.