Stand Up!

Artist Joan Semmel once said: “There are many great women artists. And we should not still be talking about why there are no great women artists. If there are no great celebrated women artists, that is because the powers that be have not been celebrating them, but not because they are not there.” Even though Artcore’s Stand Up exhibition was open to all genders I felt that it gave the opportunity to women artists to shine. For years Artcore has been giving a voice to emerging artists all over United Kingdom to show their worth and art abilities. As we all might know Derby is not a big city. People believe that they need to go to bigger cities to see good art or succeed but that’s exactly what Artcore is all about; showing us that good art and opportunities for new artists can exist in a small city like Derby.

I have been to a few exhibitions that Artcore have held and they never disappoint me, but this exhibition was rather different. As soon as I arrived at the exhibition room I was speechless. The staff and volunteers did an amazing job at welcoming everyone and providing them with food and beverages. The exhibition room was filled with different kind of arts from different artists. The exhibition is not based on one artist or art medium but on the theme of standing up, being heard and sharing yourself beautifully and bravely with the world. There is a variety of art mediums ranging from painting, ceramics and textiles to sound and video.

In the exhibition launch Artcore held an open mic, singing and spoken word performances with Sarah Camplin, Donna Briscoe Green, hosted by She Speaks UK. A lot of artists are featured in the exhibition such as Antonietta Sacco, Barbara Colbert’s, Candice Moule, Catherine Jack’s, Celine Siani Djiakoua, Clare Goddard, Clare Morgan, Elizabeth Blades, Emily Catherine, Farida Makki, Gabriela Halszka Rogula, Jade Foster, Jayne Falcone, Kathryn Borg, Lynne Hollingwoth, Maisie Baker, Rachel Dineley, Sabrina Osbourne, Stephanie Takyi, Tamara Mellon and Tracey Kershaw.


Sonya Robotham’s Deeds Not Words Towards Liberation Project banners amazed me. The banners and placards were rescued indiscriminately moments before they were declared ‘rubbish’ by the City of London. The full collection will be exhibited at The Festival of Ideas (Theme: Democracy as Deeds and Word) July 2nd – 7th 2018. These placards and banners of protest are part of a collection of more than 80, used, carried (subsequently ‘discarded’) in the international day of action following the inauguration of Donald Trump as US president. It is an art piece filled with positive messages about the true meaning of feminism and the celebration of women. Their imperfection gives powerful messages.


The reviewer was artist and curator Myria Bandi.

Stand Up! was on display at Artcore, 3 Charnwood Street, Derby, DE1 2GT between 10th March and 16th April 2018.

Images are courtesy of Myria Bandi.