Daisy Wakefield on Feminism, Protests and why Taboos have to be Broken
To celebrate the extensive art scene and huge number of talented artists in Brighton, we present to you our artist of the week. Daisy Wakefield grew up in Worthing but spent almost all of her teenage years in Brighton. Whether it was working in local shops or being inspired by the the ways and views of the city, Brighton is an important piece of her life. She is the next Feminist Society President at University of West England (UWE) and does some seriously good and taboo-breaking art work. It’s difficult to think of artists to compare Wakefield’s work to as she has such a unique style that she’s forged entirely by herself. Think old-school print-work fused with critical analysis of current times. We spoke to Daisy to find out more about her creative process and what inspires her to keep making.
WHY IS FEMINISM IMPORTANT TO YOU AND YOUR WORK?
I could go on about feminist issues for hours and it genuinely feels like we’re making movements as a society. I have always felt that making artwork about something so current and progressive is going to make the most direct change. Even if I make one more person aware of period poverty or the stigma around STI’s, it’s all been worth it.
WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION FOR YOUR RECENT TRIP TO YARLS WOOD DETENTION CENTRE?
I missed the previous protests for one reason or another and at every protest the same issues are being raised about the people inside. Trans people are being denied their hormones, people are being detained over the 28 day limit, most of the women on hunger strike have been deported and I doubt that’s a f*cking coincidence. I’m tired of being a bystander in societies problems, so decided to be a bit more proactive with issues that really upset and bother me.
Tomorrow I'm attending the 'Shutdown Yarl's Wood' protest. For anyone that isn't aware, Yarl's Wood is a women's detention centre where over 120 people are fighting for basic human rights. In solidarity they recently went on hunger strike and demanded 10 basic human rights. Women are facing both violence and sexual abuse by authorities and the Home Secretary @amberruddmp is doing nothing about it. THIS HAS TO BE SHUTDOWN! Please join me tomorrow at the protest (Brighton/Bristol/London peeps – you can get coaches v cheap online).
HOW DID YOU BECOME AN ARTIST?
I’ve loved making art for as long as I can remember but it was only until the end of college when I was in limbo as to whether I should go to uni or not that my mum suggested doing an art foundation (which she did aged 40, while being a part time nurse). It was one of the most inspiring years of my life and opened up a whole world of print-making and feminist art that was waiting for me.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF YOUR CREATIVE PROCESS?
It changes really. My recent painting that I took to the Yarl’s Wood protest was all about the message and poignancy that I wanted to portray. However, some of my other pieces are all about the slow, yet rewarding process of print-making and the errors that come with such a skilled technique.
HOW DO YOU FIND BRIGHTON INSPIRES YOU?
For me Brighton has always been about the people. Having stimulating conversations about Trans inclusiveness or drop off points to donate sanitary products. Those kind of conversations are what inspire me to make artwork in order to raise awareness about issues in today’s society. In Brighton you are never short of interesting people to have that conversation with.
WHAT PROJECTS DO YOU HAVE LINED UP?
I am planning on making some more animations for @everymonthmcr who are an amazing charity in Manchester who donate sanitary products to homeless people. Really worth checking out and they donate £1.50 to help one person have an easier period. I’m currently living in Bergen, Norway for 3 more months so I really want to explore how Norwegians tackle gender equality and see if there’s any inspiration I can take from that.