Complaints force partial closure of Planet Pussy exhibition in Margate

Planet Pussy is now only open for private viewing

An exhibition at Margate train station celebrating female genitalia has been partly closed due to complaints from two women (update: It is claimed there were also complaints from parents whose children had wandered into the exhibition space).

Planet Pussy was commissioned by International Women’s Day festival POW! and features textile vulvas of all shapes and sizes in an array of bright colours.

The art work is displayed at the Margate Station Gallery, which is on the platform. There was a sign outside advising of the exhibition subject matter and the display is only visible through accessing the building.

Angela Wooi

Artist and lecturer Angela Wooi says the work is intended to challenge the shame surrounding female genitalia. “I’m gutted I have been asked to close the exhibition; especially as the complaints came from women.

“It is not graphic and is intended to empower us.  There is so much porn available online. Lots of teenagers are looking at it thinking it’s the ideal and that has caused a great deal of anxiety for girls; labiaplasty is one of the most common forms of plastic surgery. My fabric vulvas are all different shapes and sizes. They are all handmade and a lot of work has gone into creating them.

“The work is interactive so people would write a story, good or bad, about their experiences (surrounding female genitalia) be it child birth or menstruation and put the paper in the vulvas. I was then going to create a book afterwards.”

Angela, who divides her time between Maidstone and Margate and has a grown-up daughter, says the work has been well received. “I love the fact it was accessible to so many people. When trains were cancelled people came to have a look and really enjoyed it. I have had people travel from London come specifically to see it.

“The station manager has been really kind and was supportive of the exhibition but says he has to act. I really wanted to talk to them (the complainants) as I always welcome feedback but I am not sure if they have even seen the exhibition.”

The exhibition is now only available to view by appointment until March 17. For further information email angelawooi@hotmail.com

The Isle of Thanet News has contacted Southeastern for comment.

 

17 Comments

  1. Closed because of two prudes complaints????
    What about the hundreds who like to see the exhibits and never complained. Don’t we matter? Some folk are happy being miserable.

  2. It appears to be the modern trend. Complain and it is closed or stopped…..Sometimes.

    A church in Sandwich who’s bells have rung for a 100 years plus, has had to stop because the new owner of the property next door to the church complained that the bells were disturbing disturbing their sleep.

    If you don’t want to see the exhibition. Why visit it. ?
    If you don’t want to hear the Church Bells. Why buy the property next door.?
    If you don’t want to hear trains. Why buy a property near to a rail track.
    If you don’t want to hear planes. Why buy a property near an airport or under the flight path.

    • R’s last sentence does not follow logically. If you don’t want to hear planes every few minutes night and day, don’t move to (not necessarily buy) a property near a busy airport. But if the airport near your new home looks as if it’s about to close, that’s a different matter. Especially if there are only 2 or 3 flights a day.

  3. Such a shame that it had to close and so disappointing that it was women who complained. I am an ardent promoter of talk about menstruation, menopause and all things taboo that women are made to feel embarrassed or ashamed about.
    I blame the patriarchy for brainwashing these prudes.

    • Afraid you can only blame your fellow females-as hard as that may be for you to swallow, blaming men for everything is just lazy & accomplishes nothing-even though it is the cool thing to do these days. Patently since no men complained they couldn’t care less-just like the other 99% of women that didn’t & these things are not taboo-they are just a part of everyday life, just like the problems men face with their designated genitalia/prostates-maybe in the name of gender equality we should have a display for men’s bits, or is it true that modern feminism only works one way?

      • I think you’ll find plenty of drawings of men’s bits on the back of dirty vans everywhere! No one complains about them..

  4. Good morning, , MARGATE STATION GALLERY , heard news from the artist that two complaints from station staff,
    HERE IS ANGELA’S MESSAGE, am concerned you reported more information that am of the opinion Angela would have included in the report from Angela below .

    Joe just to let you know , two female members of staff here at the station have made a complaint about my show and they have shut me down . I’m gutted , the response from visitors has been so positive and amazing ! I’ve been overwhelmed. I know you have worked hard to get this place going I don’t want to cause any trouble or this to have any negative repercussions for you or reflect on you . So I’m
    Really sorry . I know any art anyone makes isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea .

  5. There are a lot of things that get me animated, children dying from curable illness, families dying from hunger in a world full of food. Pictures of lady parts isn’t one of them.

  6. Surely it should be banned under the point of it being totally pointless modern art/feminism drivel? What stigma is there around female genitalia exactly? Why is she making a big song & dance about something every woman has? Why would people feel the need to write about their menstruation cycles or giving birth for public display? Surely this exhibition should be in the Turner Centre-with all the other pretentious, right-on nonsense.

  7. Doesn’t do it for me personally but I fully respect others rights to enjoy the exhibition and wouldnt dream of complaing just because its not my thing. Calm yer farms people and stop being offended over the slightest thing….you’ll live longer and be alot happier then 😎

  8. David you clearly have a lot of questions. Excellent! Hopefully I can open your mind with a few answers. Surely it should not be banned under that point as, so far as I know, there is no law against feminism or modern art and I think women/artists/everyone (even you david) should be able to express themselves freely so long as they are not harming anyone else in the process (and I don’t think you could do much harm with a fabric vulva)
    As for the stigma around female genitalia..unfortunately there is quite a lot actually. The appearance of the vulva can vary, quite dramatically, from person to person and although, yes, we women do all have one but we (as a society) don’t seem to talk about them much; leaving many girls and women with an unclear or unrealistic idea of what ones vulva ‘should’ look like. This can result in embarrassment, low self-esteem, psychological distress and hesitance in visiting a doctor/gynecologist.. unfortunately this last point can mean that cervical cancers go undetected or found later than necessary.
    I think women might feel the need to write down their experience of child birth and/or menstrual cycles because probably it is not only cathartic but also as a way to support/help/advise other women or girls. Maybe, also, if a man wanted to understand a little more about the emotions/fear/pain of these experiences he could have a read and might want to show some understanding and support to the women in his life (quite a nice idea isn’t it?)
    You’re right it should definitely be in the Turner. I saw a stool of knitted penises in there once, no vulvas though….

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