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Sunday 10 December 2023

Culture Corner

In the world of the creative arts, there is a case for declaring 2023 to be the Year of Gina Birch. Releasing her first solo album, the excellent "I Play My Bass Loud", playing a series of barnstorming gigs, and being the face of the 'Women In Revolt!' exhibition at the Tate Britain - she truly has bestrode the scene like a colossus. 

Now she is rounding off the year with a new art exhibition. Titled 'No One's Little Girl' after the song by her old band The Raincoats, it is being held at Gallery 46 in London's swinging Whitechapel (as was her previous exhibition last year). This one closes on Friday (16 December) so you'll need to get a move on if you want to go along.

I popped in yesterday afternoon to view the art and to listen to Gina in conversation with the art critic Louisa Buck. It was a fascinating and wide-ranging discussion which covered Gina's artistic influences and origins, her Catholic education, shoplifting with Palmolive (The Slits's drummer, not the soap) and much more besides.

As you can see in the background, one part of the exhibition consists of portraits of musicians and artists who have inspired Gina; from left to right Ari Up, Kim Gordon and Ana Mendieta (there is also a very good one of Yoko Ono). The other main themes are sexual abuse - including some pretty graphic paintings - and a set of smaller icon-style portraits of female saints. I'll leave you to pick the pieces out of that lot. 

If you are interested in seeing Gina's paintings I have put a selection on Flickr for those of you unable to make it to the exhibition in person - a poor substitute admittedly. As for the music, the first track comes from Gina's album (click on the album title above to find it on Bandcamp). If you have been following the clues, the second will come as no surprise.

"Digging Down" - Gina Birch

"Shoplifting" - The Slits


  1. Enjoyed your Flickr page - thanks for the virtual cultural excursion (I had a good old wander through your other art pics oo, excellent stuff!) I'm liking Gina's Yoko and Kim in particular. 6Music played 'Fairytale In The Supermarket' the other day and, you know, it still sounded great, and so different.

    1. Coming from someone with a well-earned reputation for cultural sophistication that is much appreciated.

      'Fairytale' is one of my favourites as well, along with 'Shouting Out Loud' and the one that gave the exhibition its title.