Entertainment

A Colourful Look at How Women Occupy Public Space

In her project 'Women in Public Spaces', Romanian-born artist Bianca Mierlea contemplates the ways in which women navigate the world.
September 24, 2020, 11:06am
Bianca Mierlea Women In Public Spaces
Photo: Bianca Mierlea
Throughout August, VICE UK will be spotlighting projects from graduates across University of the Arts London.

Every summer, University of the Arts London holds physical showcases for their graduates. Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, everything for 2020 has been moved online, to UAL Graduate Showcase – a virtual platform created with IBM, hosting work from thousands of students across art, design, fashion, communication, media and performing arts.

Throughout August, VICE UK will be spotlighting projects from graduates across the six colleges that make up University of the Arts London.

Artist: Bianca Mierlea

Bianca Mierlea’s project is an observation into the way women have occupied public spaces throughout history. The abstract composition of paintings, collages and shadow work investigates the way femininity is expressed through the act of walking. The artist observed the change in her relationship with the outdoors when living in a large city in comparison to her small Romanian home town.

“I’m looking at the position of women in public spaces and how they were perceived centuries ago in comparison to nowadays,” says Bianca. “The idea came to me while I was talking around London and I tried to think of how I felt as a woman walking in the streets. How would I feel if for example, I get lost? I started to compare my walking journeys around London with the ones from my hometown in Romania.”

Bianca Mierlea 'Women in Public Spaces'

'Women in Public Spaces' by Bianca Mierlea

Bianca Mierlea 'Women in Public Spaces'

'Women in Public Spaces' by Bianca Mierlea

“At the same time I researched the term flaneur, which for centuries was used for men wandering the city. I started to think why there wasn’t a term for women as well. I feel like women are freer to move in cities now than they were in the 16th or 17th centuries. I wanted to think about my position as a woman in a city and how I learned more about myself while walking in London and discovering a really big city in comparison to my small hometown.”

Bianca Mierlea 'Women in Public Spaces'

'Women in Public Spaces' by Bianca Mierlea

Bianca Mierlea 'Women in Public Spaces'

'Women in Public Spaces' by Bianca Mierlea

“The colours I use in my paintings are inspired from the historical centre of my hometown. I use female figures and architectural details and I like to take my inspiration from reality, but also combine it in with my imagination and feelings.”

Discover more at the UAL Graduate Showcase.