Events Archive

  • Maximum Overdrive Takeover
    Nina Wakeford
  • 9 September 2017, 6.00pm
  • Focal Point Gallery

Focal Point Gallery presents a gallery takeover by artist Nina Wakeford. This closing event for the current exhibition ‘Maximum Overdrive’ includes performance, film, and the launch of a new publication celebrating the culture and legacy of the Black Widows women-only motorbike group, active between 1988 and 1995.

Comprised of diverse elements, the event will include a newly developed live performance by Wakeford in the main gallery, and the screening of a new digital transfer of the experimental film ‘Fireworks Revisited’ (Zalcock & Chambers, 1994), a re-working of Kenneth Anger’s homoerotic classic, and which features some of the bikers.

In addition, footage of ‘Rebel Dykes’ (Shanahan & Williams, in production), a film exploring the legacy of struggles around identity, sexuality and politics in 1980s will be played throughout the evening.

Newly developed moving image works by Wakeford with the use of reflectance transformation imaging (RTI) will also be screened on Big Screen Southend throughout.

Taking place across both the gallery and FPG’s new cultural venue on Southend seafront, Twenty One, Wakeford has asked one original member of the Black Widows and one local biker to lead the route between the two spaces across the town.

A finale featuring Karen Fisch, one of the original riders, as King Frankie Sinatra 'the Dapper Drag King with the Velvet Voice’ will take place in Twenty One, and will be the inaugural performance in the new venue. A DJ set by 'Hyperfemme' (Lu Williams) will follow for the rest of the evening.

Nina Wakeford’s work in the group exhibition ‘Maximum Overdrive’ addresses the relationship between gender and machines in a series of works which forge connections between Southend’s motorbike and moped subculture and this women-only motorbike group from London whose leader sourced her own Kawasaki Z450 LTD from Southend. The work uses recordings of each of the original models of the women’s motorbikes to create a group chorus. The Black Widows also featured in a music video recorded in April 1988, as did the Kawasaki Z450 LTD.

C2C have kindly provided half price return train tickets from London Liverpool St for this event. Click here to book your place. Entrance to the event is free.

**** Please be aware trains on Saturday 9 September to Southend Central will run from Liverpool Street, NOT Fenchurch St. Tickets can be collected from the information point in the centre of Liverpool St Station, underneath the departure boards, opposite Upper Crust. Tickets are only valid on C2C servies runing to Southend Central, NOT Greater Anglia servies to Southend Victoria.