The Nasty Women of Merseyside: feminist anti-Trump art movement comes to Liverpool

Elinor Makin

Friday 11 March saw the launch night of the Nasty Women Liverpool charity exhibition held at Constellations, an exciting and lively venue in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle. The launch night included live performances of local musicians including Hannah’s Little Sister and Jessica Ray. Additionally, throughout the weekend, the artwork remained on display for further visits as well as craft workshops coinciding with Mother’s Day.

Nasty Women is a global art movement that started in New York as a response to the Trump presidency. Lo Green, part of the Nasty Women Liverpool team, sketched the history of the movement at the launch night. The movement has now reached the UK, with exhibitions in various cities like London and Newcastle before arriving at Liverpool this weekend. The first Nasty Women exhibition in New York raised awareness and funds for Planned Parenthood, and on Friday the Wirral Women and Children’s Aid organisation received all the proceeds from the Liverpool edition.

As a local Liverpool artist, I decided to take part in the movement when I discovered an open call for the exhibition on, where there was opportunity for female-identifying artists to contribute to Nasty Women Liverpool, to form part of a movement that has created progressive and positive work collectively over the globe. During the process of submitting artwork I experienced a warm and passionate community of artists and entrepreneurs within my local city and enjoyed looking at the Nasty Women Liverpool’s social media to learn more about the movement and other artists’ submissions.

My submission, titled Outlining Femininity, was inspired by my recent visit to the Model Image exhibition at Lady Lever Gallery, showcasing the life and work of June Duncan who was a Liverpool-born model that also worked in the Navy during wartime. The wire and textiles piece took the shape of the silhouette of Duncan to symbolise that anyone can identify as female regardless of appearance.

Elinor Makin

At the opening night of the exhibition launch, I was immediately greeted with the sound of samba drumming which filled the space with a fun and inviting atmosphere. The exhibition was displayed on the walls surrounding the bar with 2-dimensional artwork on the right-hand side and sculptural pieces and short films displayed on the left. The range of art alongside each other felt empowering to experience, as well as reflecting the deeper cause for the event. Vivid, colourful paintings hung alongside photography and experimental textile pieces, while live music provided the soundtrack, demonstrating the wealth of creativity among Merseyside’s women.

Nasty Women is a movement that strives for the empowerment of women globally and is going from strength to strength. The launch in Liverpool this weekend outlines the global reach of Nasty Women, as well as the strong community of local artists in and around Merseyside. The Nasty Women Liverpool team have also been nominated for the Liverpool Awesome Awards taking place later this month – a well-deserved achievement.