Nude Statue Of Historic Feminist Mary Wollstonecraft In London Draws Contention
By Izza Sofia, 30 Nov 2020
Image via Wikimedia Commons
A nude statue created in the likeness of feminist Mary Wollstonecraft in London has garnered criticism from some social media users.
The silver sculpture, located at Newington Green in the northern part of the city, was designed by British artist Maggi Hambling, and shows a naked Wollstonecraft on top of a swirling mass of bronze female forms. According to The Guardian, the Mary on The Green campaign raised close to US$190,000 over 10 years for the sculpture to be made.
Unfortunately, some feminists and activists have taken to Twitter to express their displeasure with the sculpture.
“Again: nudity is not the issue. What is being conveyed and for whose gaze is. Why, after years of so few statues of women, is the naked female form of statues being erected for and about women?” feminist writer Mona Eltahawy wrote.
Hambling, however, told Evening Standard that the sculpture is built “for” Wollstonecraft, and was not of her. “She’s every woman and clothes would have restricted her. Statues in historic costume look like they belong to history because of their clothes,” Hambling said.
“It’s crucial that she is ‘now’. The whole sculpture is called ‘for Mary Wollstonecraft’ and that’s crucially important. It’s not an idea ‘of’ Mary Wollstonecraft naked… the sculpture is for now… the sculpture is for now,” she continued.
“It will definitely start a conversation,” writer Bee Rowlatt, who led the Mary on the Green committee, told The Guardian. “It will definitely promote comment and debate and that’s good, that’s what Mary did all her life.”
AT LAST Mary Wollstonecraft's memorial sculpture is unveiled today.— Sarah Brown (@SarahBrownUK) November 10, 2020
Be among the first to see Maggi Hambling's iconic sculpture, join @maryonthegreen for the premiere of a short film of the installation.
TONIGHT 7pm GMT.
Again: nudity is not the issue. What is being conveyed and for whose gaze is.— Mona Eltahawy (@monaeltahawy) November 10, 2020
Why, after years of so few statues of women, is the naked female form of statues being erected for & about women?
Whether it’s a statue for #MaryWollstonecraft in #London or #Medusa in #NYC pic.twitter.com/UUki2psPwR
[via NBC News, cover image via Wikimedia Commons]
More related news