Notes and Notices

On art, architecture and design


A Woman in the World

Posted by Carren Jao Pineda |

In this day and age, there isn't supposed to be too much distinction between men and women anymore. Of course, there are biological differences, but most of us would prefer to think that given the right frame of mind anyone can achieve anything.

At the Skirball museum's latest exhibition, "Women Hold Up Half the Sky," visitors are given a different view of the world--a view from the lives of women who have been forcibly locked in an age-old gender discrimination. There is the story of a woman in Africa who had been left in a room to give birth by herself, despite complaining of aches and pains. There are audio stories of women in a modern slavery (living here in Los Angeles) who were made to work 16 hours or more a day without pay. (Who knew that it could happen right in our backyard?) Inspired by the bestselling book "Half the Sky" by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, the exhibition brings to light an often overlooked reality that we still need to work on gender equality.

Apart from the handmade quilts and audio stories shared, I was charmed by Layer LA's Wish Canopy. Made of 1,500 translucent pieces, it hovers over the whole exhibition venue in the same way a reassuring roof over our heads would. 

In the tradition of wish trees, the audience is invited to write down their hopes and dreams for women in their lives in colorful pieces of paper. As these papers are inserted into the translucent slots, the canopy morphs into a rainbow of color, a tangible celebration of vibrant dreams and wishes penned by men and women from all walks of life. It's a beautiful and arresting piece. 

If you go, stop by the holiday pop up shop (open only until this Sunday!) where Skirball will be selling fair trade handmade goods from all parts of the world, created by these women. 

Women Hold Up Half the Sky
On view until March 11, 2012
Admission: Free on Thursdays

2701 N. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles
Phone (310) 440-4500


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