Tonight I went to my first ever Women’s Institute (WI) meeting. I was nervous before going, not sure what to expect; but it was really fun. Everyone was warm and welcoming and I ended up sitting with three new people. The group I chose to go to is mainly young women. I don’t think I’ve been in a room with that many people around my age, since I was at school.
I’d intended not to talk about Holidays From Home; but two of the women I sat with were OTs and were interested in how they could benefit their clients. I really can’t go anywhere without talking about it; but at least it’s an ice breaker!
We had a talk on feminism in art, specifically relating to The Rokeby Venus by Velázquez, which Mary Richardson attacked with an axe as part of a protest on behalf of the suffragette movement. www.hastingspress.co.uk/history/mary.htm It was really interesting and also horrifying hearing the graphic details of what women went through when they were force-fed. Interestingly the story of the attack has been suppressed and there is no reference to it in the National Gallery, where the attack happened and it is still displayed.
The most interesting art of the evening was the discussion at the end, hearing people’s questions and opinions. It was great to have a lovely evening and come away feeling like I’d learnt something new. Even better we finished with home made cake! Cake and chat, you can’t have a better eveing!