Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search


The Lady Garden

All naked, all the time

The Lady Garden is an intriguing investigation into the female body as an asexual object, a performance installation presenting nude women in various forms of objectification, daring their observers to desexualise them, if they can.

Virginia Kennard brings The Lady Garden back for one day only, after a full week of performative adventures last December.

The premise is simple – find various forms and instances whereby women can be objects. A lampshade lady and a potted lady-plant are two of the exhibits. But the audience is also challenged to interact with these objects – to see if one can truly engage with their inanimate aspects. Thus bodies will, also, amongst other things, be available as writing surface and canvas, and as life models for drawing by the audience.

Virginia Kennard returns to New Zealand with a creative interest in the body, after gypsy adventures in Scotland, dance festivals on the European mainland, and working as a life model to pay her rent. A common area of casual employment for the freelance dancer, life modelling is flexible cash work, for which dancers’ superb body awareness is ideal.

A choreographer and performance artist, this is Virginia’s inaugural exhibition, and finally, after accusations of being a rabid feminist since the tender age of 12, is her opportunity to prove that accusation right. She says, “there is a facet of feminist discourse which believes any use of an attractive woman in advertising is in fact pornography. While this can seem a bit extreme, we have become desensitised to the manipulation of the sexualised female image as a way to sell product”.

This exhibition challenges the viewer’s gaze of the naked female form, daring them to consider what it means for a woman to be sexualised and whether it is even possible to desexualise her in the wake of commercial bombardment.

That does not mean the viewers are banned from judging the beauty of the Lady Gardeners, nor that the Gardeners themselves are necessarily completely comfortable objectifying themselves. “The naked is tough. One can ‘know’ in theory that their body is beautiful and being naked is fine, but the reality of allowing others to look at it, well, that’s a whole other ball game”, Virginia says. Acknowledging the dominance in this work of women in their mid to late 20s, Virginia hopes the vast array of bodies will have observers wondering if they too could be naked, and recognising that all bodies are beautiful.

The Lady Garden
Sunday 17th February 2013, 11am-6pm
Matchbox Studios, Level One, 166 Cuba Street, Te Aro, Wellington


© Scoop Media

Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines


Scoop Review Of Books: Worldly And Unworldly

"Being Magdalene" by Fleur Beale The situations shown in this youth novel are shocking, scary, and very moving as we experience Magdalene’s struggle to be a perfect girl as defined by the cruel and unreasonable leader of “The Children of the Faith”, as she moves reluctantly into young womanhood. More>>

Whistle Stop: Netball NZ To Implement New INF Rules

Netball New Zealand (NNZ) will implement the new Official Rules of Netball, as set down by the International Netball Federation (INF), from January 1, 2016. Key changes include the elimination of whistle following a goal, amendments to injury time and changes to setting a penalty. More>>


Scoop Review Of Books: Waiata Aroha

Vaughan Rapatahana on Chappy by Patricia Grace: With this eminently readable novel Patricia Grace returns to the full-length fiction stage after a hiatus of ten years. More>>

'Ithaca' At Q Theatre: Introducing NZ's World Class Cirque Troupe

NZ’s very own cirque troupe is set to become a household name with the premier of its adaptation of Homer’s Odyssey having secured a key season in Auckland. More>>

Music Awards: The Tuis Are Broody This Year

Topping off a sensationally eventful year both at home and internationally, Nelson born brother-sister duo Broods has taken home four Tuis from this year’s 50th annual Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards. More>>


Sport: Richie McCaw Retires From Rugby

Richie McCaw has today confirmed he is hanging up his boots and retiring from professional rugby. The 34-year-old All Blacks captain and most capped All Black of all time has drawn the curtain on his stunning international career which started in Dublin 14 years ago, almost to the day, and ended in London last month when he hoisted the Webb Ellis Cup aloft for the second time. More>>


John McBeth: On Jonah Lomu

For many New Zealanders, the enormity of Jonah Lomu's reputation will have come as a surprise... His deeds were watched and enthused over by movie stars and musicians, politicians and superstars from other codes. He reached into the lives and homes of millions and mixed with famous people most New Zealanders would only have read about. More>>


Get More From Scoop



Search Scoop  
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news