British Artist Sarah Maple Receives Death Threats for Art About Feminism and Islam
British artist Sarah Maple’s work often deals with the complexity of her background: her father is white and British, her mother is an Iranian Muslim, and she attended a Catholic school.
Maple’s pro-feminist work became a topic of discussion in 2007 after she won Channel4/Saatchi Gallery‘s New Sensations prize for emerging artists. Scroll through the artist’s website and you’ll find many of her self-portraits, in which she assumes a variety of poses and garb that some might call empowering and others might say is compromising: a baby’s outfit, a burka, a Snow White costume.
In the painting Menstruate with Pride (2010), she wears a white dress with a blood stain at the crotch as she raises a fist, surrounded by a crowd of disgusted onlookers.
Maple has released a new book, You Could Have Done This, that includes an image of the artist dressed in a hijab as she cradles a pig. “That’s the one that got the main abuse,” the artist told the Guardian. “Someone threw a brick through my window. Then I started getting death threats. I like to think I can say what I want, but perhaps, deep down, it did scare me off addressing those things. It’s a form of silencing.”
Despite the threats and her fears of self-censorship, Maple will create new works about freedom of speech for an exhibition in 2016, according to her website.
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