When Martha Mosse's told us that she only realised she was a feminist in the second year of University it was a candid admission that struck a cord with us. It's Martha's unabashed honesty that marks her work both as a performance artist and feminist activist and it's one of the myriad reasons we admire her.
Martha's enrolment to the University of Brighton to study Dance and Visual art is a moment she talks about a lot. She began for the first time to delve into the feminist canon; surfacing for breaths between cult favourites Beauty Myth, ,Living Dolls and Second Sex, Martha suddenly realised she had been living, unwittingly as a feminist for years. It was this formal education however that inspired her performance work that saw Martha writhing around in a tiny spandex box for two hours at a time- a performance that won her an award for artist excellence and saw her touring the UK to perform.
Not long after, Martha was asked to give a TEDx Covent Garden Women talk in 2013, which has now clocked up a very righteous 451,000+ views. Entitled The Slut, the spinster and the perfect woman, Martha picks apart the labels women have been forced to live within. "The spinster is a woman who sits, surrounded by cats, mourning the loss of youth" Martha jokes. Beyond that statement sounding like a real life stream of our current living situation, it's one of the many poisonous female archetypes that we unwittingly perpetuate.
In 2014, Martha was asked to contribute to, and co-edit a book called I Call Myself A Feminist. The book, a series of essays from women under 30 and is an in-depth and fluid look through the eyes of young women at feminism today.
Last year Martha, tired of working as a solo artist parked the performance work and took on a huge project with three others. Having moved home from Paris she established arts collective, The Strain, now re-named as HEXEN STUDIO. They've had three near sell out shows with celebrity buyers to boot. They have just closed their third exhibition at Cob Gallery and are planning their next project for May at Punctum Gallery in Chelsea College of Art. HEXEN are always looking for artists to come a'board.
On top of all of this, Martha also works full time at Sarabande: The Lee Alexander McQueen Foundation. A charity set up by Lee that gives financial support to artists in need. They provide scholarships and bursaries to creatives studying at BA and MA level and their 15 Haggerston studios are full to the brim with designers, print makers, sculptors and star fashion designers like Craig Green. Once the building is 'open' to the public Martha is promising a host of events for anyone interested in popping down and getting involved.
In the meantime keep your eyes on the prize for HEXEN STUDIO's illustrated book of short stories.