Gutsy Women

The Gutsy Women exhibition is inspired by and dedicated to the people who have participated in our research. It will show in the UK and Australia, keep checking this website for details. 

The exhibition features six gutsy women who make art in collaboration with their guts. From faecal transplants to composting toilets, these works challenge the role of the brain as the centre of human creativity, and ‘man’ as the centre of the earth’s ecology. What does art made with guts look like?  

New science suggests that the microorganisms in our gut shape our behaviours and actions in the world. Artists in this exhibition put the belly before the brain in their approach to art-making and interspecies relationships. Viewers will traverse a world that imagines how the material stuff of our guts—slime, breast milk and poo—might help us live better at a time of ecological crisis. Old ideas about women’s attunement to gut feelings, will meet with radical art-science experiments and critiques of dated binaries such as male/female and mind/body. 

The exhibition frames soaring rates of chronic gut health issues around the globe as a sign of the guts’ responsiveness to processed foods, agriculture and other forms of human-led environmental change. Gut issues impact approximately one third of the global population, but what does this widespread digestive dysregulation suggest about our relationship to the food we eat and high stress lifestyles? What is our gut communicating about the way we live today?  

Gutsy Women has been developed by project lead Vanessa Bartlett in collaboration with her guts.