Queering Bowes Museum
Thank you to everyone who is getting involved in"Sappho Shrine" in person and online. For more info about the wider project please click HERE
"Hia, I’m Kitt, Thanks for visiting this page. I invite you to make a paper-chain dedicated to Sappho with the instructions above (or of your own design), to send it to me here (to be part of the physical shrine at Bowes Museum, UK- till Feb 28th, 2020), or email me a picture here (which will be included on this page. Everyone who sends me a paper chain will be credited as a co-author of the shrine (if they would like to be!).
I made this work to celebrate the 5th century BC Greek poet Sappho. The shrine is inspired by the huge 1848 solid silver sculpture of the poet, by French artist James Pradier at Bowes Museum, UK.
Sappho wrote passionate and erotic poems to women and men. She’s been represented in a wide (and wild) variety of ways through history: from demur school teacher to iconic bisexual rebel.
But who is she to me? Many LGBTQ+ people refer to a “queer / chosen” family. I like the idea of extending this kinship through history, making a pilgrimage to the shrine of Sappho, our “Queer Mam”.
Inspired by the traditional Chinese practice of Joss paper offerings (where paper objects are made for shrines, then burned), I intend to ceremonially burn this shrine and film the process after the exhibition closes in February 2020.
I encourage you to create a paper chain, in which, each Sappho represent one of her many guises. Please feel free to make these up, as far as I can tell most of the historical depictions of Sappho are pretty much fictional, so feel free to join in! I’m especially interested in what Sappho might mean to you or what you think she represents today.
During the exhibition I will document these Sapphos here.
Lady Kitt, October, 2019
"Sappho Shrine" is being collaboratively made by a self selecting group of people who have visited the #Untitled10 2019, exhibition / heard about the project online. Of those, the following people wished to be credited as Co-authors: