Girls Can: An IWD graffiti celebration of the ongoing breakdown of gender stereotypes
Sunday 8th March (1pm to 5pm)
- On International Women’s Day, Leake Street Arches will celebrate the ongoing breakdown of traditional gender stereotypes by encouraging women to try out the (still) male-dominated art form of graffiti
- Female artist, SoFLY, will run a women’s graffiti workshop in partnership with MIND Lambeth & Southwark
- SoFLY and a team of female graffiti artists will create a large ‘Girls Can…’ mural and invite members of the public to contribute to it
This International Women’s Day, Leake Street Arches will be celebrating the ongoing breakdown of gender stereotypes by encouraging more women to try out graffiti (an art form that is still male-dominated).
In recent years there has been significant progress in welcoming more female artists into the graffiti scene, although there is still a long way to go. Numerous female focused festivals (held in Leake Street Tunnel) and projects such as ‘Women and Walls’ (at Upfest in Bristol in 2018) have helped bring together female artists and shine a spotlight on their work but the graffiti world continues to be heavily dominated by men.
So on International Women’s Day, SoFLY (a female artist who regularly adorns the walls of Leake Street with her work) and team of female graffiti artists will be running several activities to encourage more women to get into graffiti whilst celebrating how far women have come in breaking down previous gender stereotypes.
In the early afternoon, SoFLY will lead a one hour women’s workshop in partnership with Lambeth & Southwark Mind, a charity that supports local residents facing mental health problems. Art therapy has long been recognised as a form psychotherapy that helps people better communicate and express themselves, and this workshop will provide attendees with an introduction to the world of graffiti.
SoFLY will demonstrate some of the basic graffiti skills and techniques before participants pick up their own spray cans. Having warmed up, they will be invited to contribute to the large public mural created by SoFLY and a team of fellow female artists. This large scale piece will centre around the message that ‘Girls Can…’ (a play on graffiti cans!) Members of the public will be invited to engage with the mural by adding symbols or words that represent skills and talents stereotypically considered male. This interactive artwork will change throughout the day as people make their contributions and will provide a perfect backdrop for Insta-feeds. The event will support the official International Women’s Day collaboration with International Women’s Crew which is encouraging female street artists around the world to share their work using #EachForEqual.
“I am excited to be creating a piece of art for International Women’s Day reinforcing the message that women can do whatever they want in this world and embracing this year’s #EachForEqualtheme. Working with a women’s support group and involving them in the production is going to be a really positive experience and I can’t wait for other women to get involved and express what GIRLS CAN do!” SoFLY
This activity is being held as part of #LeakeStreetLIVE, a free public events programme that celebrates urban culture through food, drink, paint and play at Leake Street Arches, underneath Waterloo Station. Bars and Restaurants will be open throughout the day for those wishing to stay for lunch, dinner or cocktails.
#LeakeStreetLIVE is the free public events programme that brings to life the Leake Street Arches ethos. It centres around a Thursday night graffiti workshop accompanied by live music. The free graffiti workshop runs from 6.30pm to 7.30pm while the live music is on from 5.30pm to 8pm.
To register for a ticket to a free weekly #LeakeStreetLIVE graffiti class, please see: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/leakestreetlive-graffiti-workshops-tickets-90808870777
About Leake Street Arches
Eat, drink, paint and play at Leake Street Arches; a celebration of urban art, dining and entertainment located underneath Waterloo Station. Eight former railway arches have been brought back to life to create a community of independent restaurants, bars and entertainment spaces that are united by their approach to celebrate the creativity of urban culture. Newest residents Aures London, Banh Bao Brothers, Draughts, Mamuśka! Polish Kitchen and Bar and 26 Leake Street sit alongside established neighbours The Vaults and House of Vans. The redevelopment of the 23,000 sq ft space is being led by LCR and complements the wider regeneration taking place in Lambeth.
Adjoining London’s largest legal graffiti wall on Leake Street (which has made its name as a democratic cultural venue for street art) Leake Street Arches offers an exciting street-culture led destination to the 30 million people visiting Waterloo and the South Bank each year.
For more information, see www.leakestreetarches.london
SoFLY aka @sophynails has become known for her lettering graffiti in the last few years. She has painted all over the UK with her bold and distinctive style and slogans. She sees graffiti as a way to encourage female empowerment in a male dominated world. She is experienced in leading workshop groups of all ages and abilities and encourages creativity, positivity and team building during each session.
For more information see www.sophyrobson.com/collections/graffiti-workshops
About MIND Lambeth & Southwark
At Lambeth and Southwark Mind, our mission is to provide long-term, free psychotherapy services to our local communities, particularly helping those on low income; we won’t give up until everyone in our community who is experiencing a mental health problem gets the support and respect they deserve.
To register to attend this free event, please see: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/girls-can-tickets-94604836613