The Monstrous Femmes.
The Monstrous Femmes is a collective duo between Zeena Al Tai and Toraigh Watson. We first met when studying together at Wimbledon College of Art. We graduated in 2020, a difficult year in general despite our difficulties to find opportunities and keep up the momentum post-graduation. After recognising similarities in the themes of both our work, we decided to come together to self initiate a project with the aim of creating our own opportunity. The title of the show and collective is named after Zeena’s beautifully monstrous tapestry and featured in the final installation of this show, ‘The Monstrous Femme’.
Our debut exhibition explored our take on female agency and power in Celtic (and general) folklore. Toraigh being from Ireland and Zeena having Welsh heritage, we felt that this commonality was a good place to start. We began our research process by swapping books and music which have been influential to us. Our starting point being Perkins Gilman’s ‘Herland’, a novel about an island inhabited entirely by women who reproduce via parthenogenesis and Hannah Kent’s ‘The Good People’ set in a rural Irish village in the 1800s and is centred around the villages ‘Bean Feasa’ meaning woman of knowledge. From there we continued to share ideas and swap resources, the product being this series of immersive installations representing our take on these characters and narratives. Our intention for the work is to be humorous in parts and haunting in others. It highlights the strength and authority of these characters, whilst challenging other aspects which we felt didn’t represent us or the female identifying people around us.
Check out our instagram page for updates on upcoming collaborations: