This festival is not just about amazing performers. It also has art. Great art. Art with heart.
And as far as conceptual art goes – and believe me it goes far – there is no greater artist than Claire Doyle.
When I first experienced her work, looking on as she encouraged a pensioner to graffiti vaginas on to wooden furniture, I knew I was in the company of an artist like no other.
I hardly feel qualified to comment on Doyle’s body of work, steeped as it is in conceptual thinking and social commentary. Her breastfeeding series (Breastfeeding Re-enactments), a series of breastfeeding photographic portraits emulating classic portraits to encourage communication about breastfeeding and how it is depicted today, are as visually stunning as they are provocative. But so is her other stuff.
She has produced amazing work on:
menstruation cycles through an open-call photographic project;
in support of El Salvadoran women (Pending);
hairy body confidence through (Habitual Body Monitoring: The Costume).
And that list is not including the research and development projects, often using her own body in performance art pieces.
But for Lancashire Fringe Festival Doyle is exhibiting her stunning project Modify My Vagina!
Created to inspire women and men to consider the stigma and taboos surrounding genitalia, through a series of casts made by the artist herself, inspired by stories of female genital mutilation.
Doyle said: “My journey with this particular exhibit began after watching Channel 4 documentary, The Cruel Cut. I had never heard of the horrors of female genital mutilation before and was overwhelmed with emotion at how such a current and disgraceful issue was not being addressed enough.
“Modify My Vagina has been the perfect opportunity to spread vital facts about FGM, what the audience can do to help, and even simply discuss the audience’s opinion on the subject matter.”
Claire Doyle is from Wigan. She can be found here: @clairedoyleart www.clairedoyleart.com