I am a Fantasy

From Margaret Harrison and artist duo The Girls, artists who use humour to explore notions of the human body as an object of sexuality, consumption, and gaze.

at PayneShurvell

Forty years after her show was shut down for indecency in London, feminist art pioneer Margaret Harrison is an established artist with works in major international institutions. She is best known outside of the UK with recent work on show at MOCA LA and MoMA/PS1 New York. As other powerful yet overlooked women artists are being re-evaluated – Alice Neal, Yayoi Kusama, Rose Wylie and more, I am a Fantasy invites Margaret Harrison out of the retrospective 1970s box to which history wishes to relegate her.

I am a Fantasy hopes to provide a rare platform for cross-generational dialogue between second-wave and contemporary feminist artists.

Working alongside Margaret Harrison in I am a Fantasy will be performance artists The Girls; Zoe Sinclair and Andrea Blood. Recently described as “Sexy, irreverent post-feminism. Think Angela Carter crossed with Cindy Sherman” by The Evening Standard and “Seriously Weird” by Time Out, The Girls will bring a Post-Feminist punch to the table. Like Margaret, The Girls use humour as a tool to cross boundaries that would otherwise remain taboo.

In 1971 the police raided Margaret Harrison’s first solo show and a painting, which had attracted a huge amount of publicity, was ‘stolen’ during that raid. That painting was ‘Bunny Girl’, a painting of Hugh Hefner squeezed into a bunny girl outfit bulging with huge comedy breasts. Along with other work Margaret Harrison will be showing a re-creation of that iconic painting at PayneShurvell exactly forty years after it was stolen.

For I am a Fantasy The Girls have created a new performance that evokes ill-fated heroines of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen. But, as ever with The Girls, the enchanting tableau gives way to unnerving rumblings. The performance will take place on the evening of the private view at 6.30pm.


Opening Times
Preview: Thursday 14 April, 6-8pm

15 April 21 May
Wednesday to Saturday, 11am-6pm

16 Hewett Street