York & North Yorkshire

Knickers used by artist for York feminist carnival

More than 150 pairs of knickers sent by women from around the world have been used to create a work of art for a feminist event in York.

The underwear has been used to "celebrate the diversity of women's shapes and sizes" as part of the city's Carnival of Feminist Cultural Activism.

It has been strung together as carnival bunting by artist Julia Triston.

Organised by York University's Centre for Women's Studies, the festival marks 100 years of International Women's Day.

The three-day event, which runs until Saturday, will see delegates from many nations converge on York "to celebrate activist creativity and advance feminist work".

Breaking taboo

Ms Triston said she issued the "show us your knickers" challenge to help celebrate the diversity of women's shapes and sizes.

Donated underwear was sent in by women from as far afield as Australia and the US.

"The aim of the carnival bunting is to show that our underwear can tell a story of its own, whoever we are and whatever we portray externally," said the Durham-based textile artist and designer.

"In this piece of artwork we will be putting on show, proudly and honestly, what is usually unseen and taboo."

Carnival organiser Dr Ann Kaloski Naylor, a lecturer at the university's Centre for Women's Studies, said: "Art and performance have always been integral to feminist activism and the interdisciplinary work of the centre acknowledges its significant role in work for gendered change.

"From grassroots projects which enable women to express desires for a better life, to street theatre which educates, and from feminist art which challenges mainstream ideas of aesthetics, to the role of craftivism in protest, feminist cultural activism changes the way we think and live."

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