A powerful series large scale paste ups from Aida Wilde have appeared across the UK to mark International Women’s Day. The works reference the artists own experiences of displacement, loss and trauma whilst having to feel Iran with her mother and sisters during the conflict with Iraq.
As if to illustrate the challenges women still face even now in Iran. A recent spate of attacks in the country have seen teenage girls targeted with toxic gas whilst in classrooms. The attacks are believed to be a deliberate attempt to disrupt education and to close schools.
Creating a triptych of posters, Aida Wilde’s wild posted work features the hands of her mother and sister. All raised in iconic gestures of resistance they are shown mounted on top of marble pedestals. It’s a symbolism reminiscent of the esteem that historic male figures might well have received.
Text etched on the plinths feature a series of slogans. Stating that “power rarely falls within the right hands”; “If you only knew how exhausting it is to be powered by rage”; “There can be no Gods walking among us”. All the phrases reminiscent of Jenny Holzer’s iconic text based street based work.
Blended in the background of the work are names of some of the thousands of women and girls who have been murdered in the struggle against Iran’s oppressive theocratic regime. They acknowledge the uprising of 2022 which was caused by the unlawful death of Mahsa Amini. At the base the names fall down into a field of poppies which honour and humanise all the women and girls lost to state sanctioned femicide.
Loved, Lost, Silenced
Speaking about the work, Aida Wilde said “This is the first time that I have incorporated all of my family in one piece of artwork. From our arms that have loved, lost and silenced, this is for ALL the mothers, sisters, brothers and fathers around the world, who have suffered oppression, violence, injustices and bloodshed. May our tears and suffering not be in vain. May we be united by peace in the fight for justice.”
Aida Wilde is an Iranian born, London based printmaker, visual artist and educator. The work has been supported by UNCLE and OllyStudio with creative direction from Olly Walker and Susan Hansen. All poster and street work appeared in cities across the UK in the run up to International Women’s Day on 8 March 2023.