Fence and Shadow, Invisible Woman and the Telephonic Tree
About the work
Place: Department for International Trade, Old Admiralty Building
Payen’s painting shows the base’s wire fence strung with yarns of green wool and red paper flowers made by the protesters. Inspired by the natural world under threat from radiation, these protest symbols also embodied less tangible chains of communication used by the women. This included the ‘Telephonic Tree’, a system in which chain messages were passed by phone, each caller designated a list of others to contact. Payen comments: The threads might equally represent the complex relationships, conversations and critical discourse that developed during and out of the campaign, and the ripple effects these have had on all manner of aspects of society and thinking today.
Although missiles were removed from the base in the early 1990s, protests continued until 2000. Today, Greenham Common contains traces and memorials of the protest communities and remains a powerful symbol of women’s activism.
About the artist
Born in Oxford, Sally Payen holds an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Arts (1990) and a practice-based PhD from the University of Brighton (2005). Recent solo exhibitions include ‘The Fence and the Shadow’, MAC Birmingham (2017); ‘The Chase and the Ambush’, Hereford Museum and Art Gallery (2013); and ‘Wolverhampton Riots - One Year On’, Wolverhampton Art Gallery (2012). She is co-founder and director of ‘Salt Road’, an arts organisation which commissions artists, and carries out activities to benefit the community, in particular to improve environmental, social, economic, and cultural wellbeing.
Sally Payen (1964 - )
- Fence and Shadow, Invisible Woman and the Telephonic Tree
- Series Title
- The Fence and the Shadow
- Oil on canvas
- height: 200 cm; width: 160 cm
- Purchased from the artist, July 2018
- bottom right: INVISIBLE / WOMAN / TELEPHONIC / TREE ; verso, upper right: Fence and the Shadow / INVISIBLE WOMAN AND THE / TELEPHONIC TREE / SallyClairePayen 2017 / SALLY / PAYEN OIL ON CANVAS
- The artist; from whom purchased, July 2018
- GAC number