Nudity, nakedness and the female body within art

February 27, 2020 6:00 pm - 8:30 pm

This event is part of The Rising Tide: Women at Cambridge programme hosted by Cambridge University Libraries and examines the theories of seeing, and perspectives primarily toward, the female form, but also in our attitudes and prejudices towards the naked body in art and in life. In order to link the creative process with the feminist agenda at the University, we want to explore the difference between what we consider to be simply the female body naked, and the canonical ‘nude’.

What is it that makes us feel uncomfortable when we discuss nudity? Is it that we are afraid to make ourselves vulnerable to one another, to take off our layers and be exposed? During the evening, we will run a variety of group workshops which aim to create intimacy and dissolve barriers of embarrassment or shame, a safe space in which creativity can flourish.

Our Q&A session with prominent art historian Frances Borzello, author of The Naked Nude, will consider the history of the depiction of the naked female body in art from a female perspective. Following this, we will conduct workshops in tangent what has been discussed and prepare participants for the life class session. Our focus is to bring attention, awareness and respect. To be tolerant of our own vulnerability and sexuality as well as that of the nude figures we encounter.

Vivian Stewart Room, Murray Edwards College

Food and drink will be available during an access break.

The event is free, and open to all. Suitable for ages 18+. Booking required.

Image credit: Jo Spence, A Picture of Health: Helmet Shot: Crisis Project (in collaboration with Terry Dennett) 1982 (c) the artist and Women’s Art Collection