Derek Eller Gallery is pleased to announce Lily of the Arc Lights, Ellen Lesperance’s first solo exhibition in New York City. In this show, Lesperance continues her ongoing project of translating articles of clothing worn by protestors at the Greenham Common Women's Peace Camp into compositions that are inspired by Symbolcraft, a universal for of knitting instruction. A series of new gouaches paintings on paper will be accompanied by a garment knitted by the artist.
The Greenham Common functioned as both a military facility and a public park in Berkshire, England until 1979 when NATO called for it to be converted into a United States Air Force base. In the wake of the Cold War, the base came to house the largest stockpile of nuclear Cruise missiles in Europe. In September 1981, a group of Welsh protestors calling themselves "Women for Life on Earth" marched for seven days from Cardiff, Wales to the base, intent on delivering a letter expressing their opposition to nuclear proliferation to then-Secretary of Defense, Francis Pym. The Secretary dismissed the request for a meeting, sarcastically inviting them to stay as long as they'd like. This marked the beginning of a protest composed of nine camps inhabited exclusively by women surrounding the base that lasted nearly twenty years and included, at times, thousands of participants.