Ana Mendieta (Nov 1948-Sep 1985) was a Cuban-American performance artist, sculptor and videographer who pioneered the term “earth art”. Her canvases were the land and her body, and she produced over 200 pieces with them, commenting on humanity, equality, life, death and femininity.
When Ana was 12 years old, she and her sister were sent to the United States to escape Castro’s regime in Cuba. She arrived in Iowa in 1961, and spent three weeks in a refugee camp before being fostered. The girls were reunited with their mother in 1966. They were only two of 14,000 other child refugees that made the journey that year.
Exposed to the rise of second-wave feminism in the 1960s and early 1970s, Ana began feminist performance art in college; a student was raped on campus, and Mendieta invited other students to come to her dorm at a certain time, where the door was ajar, and they would find her tied to a table, with her trousers below her ankles and blood running down her legs.CONTINUE…
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The Met Costume Institute is literally my Sunday go-to. I can scrawl for hours and hours in my cosy bed, and stories and adventures unfold through each piece in their archives, transporting me into a little pocket of time elsewhere.
Little did I know, until recently, that their foundations came from a truly opulent closet, belonging to one Rita de Acosta Lydig; diva, muse, fashionista, suffragette supporter, and the “most picturesque woman in America”. She was a New Yorker, born on 1 October 1875 to Cuban and Spanish parents, and sister to 7 other siblings, and she grew up to become an influential figure within art and fashion in Paris, London and NYC. Rita’s story, and her wardrobe, scream that bitch, have massive Libra energy and I live for it!Continue reading February Feature: The Queen of The Met.
An artistic, hopeless romantic, hell-bent on providing for her family and educating the masses, serving stunning illustrator and powerhouse realness! This is the story of Elizabeth Blackwell, Scotland’s botanical babe.
Elizabeth Blachrie was born some time in the early 1700s, in Aberdeen, Scotland. Her father was a successful merchant, and she lived a relatively comfortable life; she was trained as an artist, and had a real talent for creating beautiful illustrations.
There’s not much written about Elizabeth’s early life, but her story picks up when she secretly marries her second cousin, Alexander Blackwell. Blackwell was an educated man, who ran a medical practice in Aberdeen, where he worked as a doctor – despite having no medical training. The couple stayed in Aberdeen while this questionable business was operating, but when Alexander’s qualifications were challenged, he and Elizabeth packed their things and moved over 500 miles away, to London.
Arriving in London, Alexander became associated with a publishing firm, and the couple began a new life together; enjoying luxuries, becoming parents to a son and daughter, William and Ann, and experiencing family life in the capital. Things seemed pretty good for the Blackwell’s.
With a little experience gained in the publishers, Alexander decided to set up his own business – neglecting the fact publishers had to have four years training and belong to a guild before they could trade. He was heavily fined by local authorities for flouting the rules, and between the penalties and his lavish spending, the Blackwell’s found themselves heavily in debt. The publishing business was closed down, and Alexander was sent to a debtor’s prison.
Desperate and essentially destitute, with her two children to take care of, Elizabeth found herself in dire straits. By a stroke of fate, she came across a physician’s book, which described and depicted plants from the New World and their medicinal properties. She had an idea, so crazy it just might work.Continue reading WYSK: Scotland’s Botanical Babe, Elizabeth Blackwell.