by Violet Costello
Calgary, Alberta Canada, 2022
The artwork Red is a powerful expression of the outrage regarding the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn the landmark Roe v Wade ruling. Protest and activism spill from the montage of new and familiar faces, fighting for the right to abortion as healthcare, choice, and bodily autonomy for women. The artwork is rich with feminist cultural references: the coathanger for self-abortion, the bra for burning, the banners and the faces of the women who led the way, and a gorilla face, a visual link to the Guerilla Girls, a feminist movement fighting sexism and racism in art. All on a bed of red. It is raging and enraging.
Violet Costello, a 66-year-old Canadian multi-disciplinary artist, who vividly recalls the landmark decision of Roe v. Wade in the United States Supreme Court. To her disbelief, she witnesses that young women today possess fewer rights than she had for the majority of her life.