147 Women Dinner Party is an installation by Sophie Parkin and Mandee Gage about women who were celebrated in their day and should be better remembered for how they have been instrumental in making and changing Britain. Each of the 147 one-off, hand-made, hand-painted pieces (including plates, candlesticks, bowls, mugs, vases and more) is dedicated to one of the women.
“I had a revelation whilst at The Temple of Apollo, Delphi, Greece where the High Priestess Pythia foresaw and proclaimed. Why has nobody heard of Pythia? Pythia held the most powerful position of any woman in the Ancient World, wrote 147 Maxims for humans to abide by, carved into the stones around the temple. Some of these have been adopted by every religion, most have been ascribed to Socrates or Plato or other male philosophers, after Pythia. Why?
147 Maxims, 147 Women of Britain who should be better remembered, who were celebrated in their day. With time on my hands during the pandemic I thought this was the moment to find a ceramicist interested in making and decorating 147 pieces! I found Mandee Gage to collaborate with. Mandee has hand-made each piece – original and different – just like women. I have decorated half of them; all of them are dedicated to the women named on their bases. Mandee and I are stamped into each piece too. Women And Men, have made this country. This is what it means to be British.
147 Women became Dinner Party because we saw the installation laid out like a dinner table, traditionally a woman’s work, and to commemorate Judy Chicago’s piece, The Dinner Party, which has 39 guests with elaborate embroidered place settings that took scores of women to make. Mandee and I alone have done everything, including the book that accompanies the exhibition with potted bios, an image and of course each individual dedicated piece.” [by Sophie Parkin, from the Stash Gallery at Vout-O-Reenee’s website]
Sophie Parkin is an artist, writer, mother, broadcaster, journalist and businesswoman, co-owner of Vout-O-Reenees and The Stash Gallery. She has had 9 books published incl The Colony Room Club; a history of Soho, four one women shows and co-presenter/ producer of podcast @ShadowSpies.
Mandee Gage is a mixed media artist, teacher and ceramicist whose work refers to human rights, the environment and societies engagement with it. Gage ran Hybrid Art and Science group for 10 years. She has shown extensively in the UK and internationally from Oaxaca in Mexico, to the Venice Bienna
147 Women Dinner Party is on display at:
Stash Gallery at Vout-O-Reenee’s The Crypt, 30 Prescot St, London E1 8BB
10th February–26th February
The Beecroft Gallery Southend
5th March – 27th March
Broomhill Estate Gallery Devon
Further information, including opening times, is available at the gallery website here: [link]
A podcast explaining the origins of the exhibition is here: [link]