The Monica Sjöö Curatorial Collective are a group of art historians, curators and academics and supporters who are all admirers of the artist and activist Monica Sjöö’s work and want her place to be finally recognized, as like so many women artists, she has been neglected for too long.
Working collaboratively to recuperate and re-present, within a diverse range of understandings, the expanded practice of Monica Sjöö: Artist, feminist activist, writer, scholar of Goddess cultures and eco feminist.




Monica Sjöö was a peace activist all her life and would have been fully involved
campaigning against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and an ongoing war, plus she
would have demanded an end to the attacks against civilians and the siege of Gaza by Israel.

MSCC calls for a stop of the deadly attacks on civilians and lack of access to vital humanitarian help. Millions of people and children have been forced to flee their homes in these wars and lack access to food, water, electricity and humanitarian aid.

The consequences of wars are being felt all over the world and as always in wars it is women and children who suffer most. Please help by donating for humanitarian needs in Ukraine and Gaza. Direct link to UNICEF for donation.

Image: Monica Sjöö, 'Nordic Symphony', 1994,  ⁠Courtesy: Monica Sjöö Estate and Alison Jacques, London © Monica Sjöö Estate; photo: Michael Brzezinski

Monica Sjöö: Women Becoming –  Solo exhibition Alison Jacques Gallery

1 February – 9 March, 2024

Alison Jacques Gallery,  represents the Estate of Monica Sjöö and  has announce a solo exhibition by the late pioneering artist, activist and writer Monica Sjöö, the exhibition coincides with Monica Sjöö’s first retrospective The Great Cosmic Mother on view at Modern Art Oxford until 25 February 2024. 

Monica Sjöö: Women Becoming opens 1 February and continues until 9 March, 2024.⁠ To coincide with the exhibition, Linsey Young (Curator of Contemporary British Art at Tate) and Annie Johnston (Chief Archivist and Manager of the Monica Sjöö Estate) will lead a walkthrough of the exhibition on Saturday 17 February at 12pm. Spaces are free but limited.

⁠Read more about the Alison Jacques Gallery exhibition here.

MSCC Summary Report 2022 /2023

There have been huge strides in the last two years in reintroducing Monica Sjöö ́s work and re-establishing her reputation as an important eco-feminist artist. It really feels as if at last her time has come! All that I summarise here can be seen on this website, including films and audio tracks. Throughout the last two years we have had brilliant collaborations with artists, poets and musicians, responding to Monica ́s work via our Insta-Projects Artists in Residence Programme @monica_sjoo 2022.


In January 2022 Legion Projects launched their beautifully produced Zine on Monica at Spike Island Gallery in Bristol on the occasion of artist Lucy Stein’s Exhibition ‘Wet Room’. It was a live event produced through a Webinar hosted by Spike Island, Bristol, UK.
In April the ten day Altered Arts Festival in Bristol featured four of Monica’s works. In May Tate Liverpool included Monica ́s painting The Earth is Our Mother as part of the Radical Landscapes Exhibition. In June the Beaconsfield Gallery, Vauxhall, London, UK curated an exhibition of Monica ́s paintings and ran a programme of associated events including music, workshops, performance, poetry and talks. In November a heritage plaque, was commissioned and unveiled recording Monica ́s residence at 47 Princess Victoria Street, her house and studio in Clifton Village, Bristol, UK. Speeches and song accompanied this official recognition.


MSCC collaborated in two short form films, The Serpents Tail Walk and Performing Resistance: Magnoxia, a River Haunting, both available here on the web-page. In April Annie Johnston and Maggie Price were invited to offer a talk on Monica Sjöö’s Life and Legacy at The Radical History Festival in the Bristol Museum M-Shed also hosting a stall with her publications and posters. May saw the opening of the long-awaited survey exhibition, ‘The Great Cosmic Mother’ at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden. Two members of our collective attended the exhibition preview.
In August we produced a Contemporary Zine, ‘Letters to Monica Sjoo 2022’ edited by Su Fahy where writers, poets and artists responded to Monica ́s work marking the 40th Anniversary of ‘Embrace the Base’ at Greenham Common Peace Camp. The Zine is available at Moderna Museet, in Stockholm, Arnolfini Bristol and Modern Art Oxford, Gallery Bookshops. In November the Survey Show travelled to Modern Art Oxford, where it will show until February 2024 when it tours to Moderna Museet, Malmo, Sweden.

Three major exhibitions and many contributions to other shows, a really significant couple of years. In 2023 The Monica Sjöö Family Estate is now represented by the prestigious Alison Jacques Gallery, London.

As a curatorial collective we feel it will soon be time to bow out having achieved our aims of both drawing in new audiences and advocating for the inspiring legacy of Monica Sjöö as activist, artist, eco-feminist and writer, a true polymath.

/Jo Eliot, Co-ordinator and originator of The Monica Sjöö Curatorial Collective

Review by Jo Elliot of Monica Sjöö, The Great Cosmic Mother at Modern Art Oxford

At last, a chance to see the survey exhibition of Monica Sjöö ́s work, now in Modern Art Oxford after opening in Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

Sadly, I could not get to Stockholm but travelled from Portugal in November to go to the Preview and Curators talk in Oxford. The evening began with a discussion between Jo Widoff from Stockholm and Amy Budd from Oxford, the joint curators of the show. Rather surprisingly neither made mention of the discovery of all Monica ́s paintings stored by her son Toivo in a self-built wooden house in a forest in Portugal. Nor of the wide-ranging efforts of the Monica Sjöö Curatorial Collective to promote and raise awareness of Monica ́s work. Toivo ́s children and their mother Annie Johnston, were at the show. Since Toivo ́s unexpected and early death Annie has worked tirelessly to catalogue and preserve the work. And our purpose has always been to establish her rightful place in the art world and with this exhibition a huge step has been taken to that end. Also, her representation by the prestigious Alison Jacques gallery well guarantees a positive future.

The exhibition, as the title indicates, emphasised Monica ́s spiritual and Goddess paintings. Representatives of the Goddess Temple in Glastonbury, which holds several of Monica ́s paintings, were there and there were a lot of younger people at the show which had a good crowd and a definite buzz. The room which was of most interest to me was the one that reflected more on her activism. A glass case containing some of the many alternative publications she wrote for was of particular interest. There was also a wall covered Warhol style with repeating copies of her poster of the Emma Goldman quotation “women need not always keep their mouths shut and their wombs open” I thought this a wasted opportunity since Monica produced literally hundreds of campaign posters and to reproduce one over and over somewhat reductive. Many of Monica ́s most well-known paintings were on show but also some that had not been shown since her death. Monica left boxes and boxes of drawings, as well as an immense written archive, all of which was dutifully stored by Toivo.

I was left with the feeling this was just the beginning, there will be more shows, with different foci. Finally, Monica clearly has a strong appeal to younger people and a nice innovation was written comments by Trainee Curators at MOMA responding to individual works.

Jo Eliot, Co-ordinator and originator of The Monica Sjöö Curatorial Collective

Exhibition Comparison by Sue Fahy of The Great Cosmic Mother Stockholm to Oxford

Monica Sjöö’s survey show in the Moderna Museet in Stockholm was curated to affect an encounter with the viewer both visual and aural on entry to the galleries. The entrance atrium of posters and banners from then and now, enabled an understanding of how protest was in the air in the 60s/70s, affecting artist/activists, and in the here and now for activists in Sweden. The resource table in the atrium space allowed for a perusal of her publications including The Great Cosmic Mother (1987), offering the title of the show, enabling the scene to be set for a curated journey through her visual works.

The bold scaffolding hang of the large-scale paintings in the gallery spaces invited the viewer to walk around and through her works, with the ability to intimately view their iconic imagery, and in some cases come face to face with her very personal anarcho visual polemic, often accompanied by text within the artworks. The lilac carpeting throughout lifted the spirit of the narrative paintings and emphasised their colour and bold composition.

Entering the survey show in Modern Art Oxford offers a quieter introduction to Herstory with the paintings wall hung and the printed ephemera presented in vitrines. The cacophony of the space in Stockholm where the films were shown large scale on the wall with the soundtrack accompanying this and the clatter of slide projectors in the same space was softened out in Oxford losing in my view some of its affect and presence.

Speaking to other visitors I found they were enjoying being at home with her work at scale, its vibrancy of colour and radiant beauty in the galleries at Oxford, feeling that on leaving these quiet spaces with the catalogue they would hold a lasting legacy of the personal and visual narratives of the artist, activist and eco-feminist Monica Sjöö.

The exhibition tours next to Moderna Museet in Malmö Sweden where I am sure the curators will produce a new iteration for this vibrant and enriching survey show. 

Dr. Su Fahy, Artist, Curator, Writer and member of The Monica Sjöö Curatorial Collective

Art, Activism and the Women’s movement in the UK 1970–1990

8 November 2023 – 7 April 2024
Tate Britain, UK

This exhibition a major survey of feminist art by over 100 women artists working in the UK. Monica Sjöö is represented in this exhibition with her posters and a pamphlet from the family estate and the Feminist Archive South (FAS).

It explores how networks of women used radical ideas and rebellious methods to make an invaluable contribution to British culture. Through their creative practices, women’s liberation was forged against the backdrop of extreme social, economic and political change.

Women in Revolt! brings together a wide variety of mediums including painting, drawing, sculpture, performance, film and photography. It explores and reflects on issues and events such as: the British Women’s Liberation movement, the fight for legal changes impacting women, maternal and domestic experiences, Punk and independent music, Greenham Common and the peace movement, the visibility of Black and South Asian Women Artists, Section 28 and the AIDs pandemic.

The show celebrates the work and lived experiences of a hugely diverse group of women. Many who, frequently working outside mainstream art institutions, have largely been left out of artistic narratives. Women in Revolt! presents many of these works for the first time since the 70s.

This exhibition platforms a productive, politically engaged set of communities, who changed the face of British culture and paved the way for future generations of artists.

Read more about the Tate exhibition here.

Read The Guardians exhibition review here.

Monica Sjöö: The Great Cosmic Mother – Exhibition at Oxford Modern Art

Oxford Modern Art, UK
18 November – 25 February 2024

Artist, activist, writer and eco-feminist Monica Sjöö (1938-2005) was unwavering in her advocacy for gender justice, eco-feminism, matriarchy and social equities. This retrospective exhibition charts her life work and considers the relationship between art, spirituality and politics.

Tracing the artist’s deep commitment to gender and environmental justice, The Great Cosmic Mother showcases Sjöö’s large-scale paintings created in response to the wide-ranging feminist and environmental campaigns she was actively involved in throughout her life. Sjöö’s prescient artworks were a pioneering form of environmental activism and anticipated politically urgent debates surrounding the climate emergency today.

Monica Sjöö: The Great Cosmic Mother is curated by Jo Widoff, Moderna Museet, and Amy Budd, Modern Art Oxford, in collaboration with Moderna Museet, Stockholm and Moderna Museet Malmö, Sweden where it is showing from 13 May – 18 October 2023 and 23 March – 8 September 2024 respectively.

Link to short film, produced by Oxford Modern Art.

Read more about the Oxford exhibition here.

MONICA SJÖÖ – The Great Cosmic Mother – Exhibition in May 

Moderna Museet, Stockholm
13th of May – 18th of October 2023

Moderna Museet present the first major survey exhibition of the Swedish artist, activist, writer and eco-feminist Monica Sjöö. An unwavering advocate of freedom from oppression in all its forms, Sjöö came to be one of the seminal figures in both the Women’s Liberation Movement in the UK and the international Goddess movement. More about: Exhibition at Moderna Museet

Moderna Museet and Modern Art Oxford in collaboration

The exhibition is organized in close collaboration with Modern Art Oxford, where it will be on view 18 November 2023–25 February 2024.
A monographic catalogue published by Moderna Museet and Modern Art Oxford will accompany the exhibition. 

Exhibition Review of Monica Sjöö – The Great Cosmic Mother at Moderna Museet, Stockholm

The first thing you see when you arrive at Moderna Museet, before you enter the Monica Sjöö exhibition, is a wall covered with contemporary protest posters and slogans. These are all from the Friday School Protests, led by Greta Thunberg. What is striking is that these same issues are the very same that Monica Sjöö was campaigning for in the 1970’s.

Stepping next into the gallery spaces there is a feeling of being in a space with billboards, as the scale of the paintings are emphasised by being displayed off the wall and standing in their own occupied spaces. Observing the reaction of the young artists to the paintings visiting on the night of the opening, was fascinating. They were clearly awed at the storytelling, the experience of the feminine, political and spiritual. The diversity of thinking and symbolism inherent in Monica Sjöö’s work was further emphasised by the presence of the words of Indian visionary painter and poet Tagore in a text / image piece referencing the head of the Sphinx. The piece was reminiscent of Odilon Redon’s symbolic drawings featuring the head of the Sphinx in a chiaroscuro drama made in the 1880s.There is a renewed interest in Tagore today with the publication and translation of his poetry Sing of Life (2021) by Priya Sarrukai Chabria, echoing again the relationships between the 21 st Century and the preoccupations of the 70s.

Seeing these visionary paintings for the first time as a curated show changes their viewing to one of the impact of narrative painting. We are taken on a journey through the sensing of how the personal, political and spiritual are intertwined in a life where Monica‘s eternal curiosity and questing for a portrayal of the feminine preoccupations, allows us to enter into a world where we face our ancestral symbolism from the past, drawn into our present. The powerful narratives layered into dynamic and interrogative compositions, speak to you and beg the question…Are we being Good Ancestors? An important aspect of the exhibition is the display of Monica’s personal collection of images, photographs, slides and reading echoing the power of past evocations of sacred sites, motifs and iconography that trace her footsteps and research impulses. We as viewers inherit her conversations with fellow artists, campaigners and writers. The cacophony of voices at Greenham Common feature here too, calling out from the projected film, strongly juxtaposed with the peaceful painting The Goddess at Avebury – perhaps deliberately calling us out to think again about what is sacred to us – our ancestral matriarchal landscapes and our planet Gaia, as threatened by the nuclear proliferation and at that time the nuclear arms race, present again with us now, in our time.

The exhibition includes a slide show of images of family and friends, exploring ‘a family album’ that speaks of the extended family of Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp (1981-2000) in the UK. Linked here into the companionship of the Goddess Movement which offers an international presence through belief in ritual and magic, linking the divine within, to the divine around them in the natural world. In the south west of England those who grew up with, or who loved and identified with the ancient stone circles and their presence in their landscapes were known as ‘The Children of the Stones’. In 1977 there was a TV drama series of the same name filmed at Avebury which still resonates today as one of the most landmark programmes made at this sacred site offering a sense of place for dark magic. The cacophony of the Greenham Voices brings back this sense of litany and they were amplified at the time by the voices of punk rock artists like the Androids of Mu who Monica at times performed with and contributed the front cover image for their album Blood Robots (1980). The record was produced by F—K Off records apposite to these times and is listed in her discography.

Moderna Museet in its programming has both visual artist Monica Sjöö and sound and performance artist Laurie Anderson on show. There are many shared radical attributes which resonate as you move between these women artists’ works in the gallery spaces. Tracing memories of art, posters and music in the DIY spirit of the 70s enduring into the early 80s, taking us back into the slogans and catchphrases of the times now echoing again in the school protests against our present-day climate emergency.

Monica ‘s graphic works, her posters in particular represent a past prophecy of the pain of living with war, poverty and the repression of women and their Herstory. Interestingly some of the young women visiting the show, commented on the strength of spirit that shone out from the works – drawing attention to the quieter works a series of three drawings on one of the gallery walls. To date little has been written about Monica’s drawings, which stand out here for their layered compositions, delicacy of colour palette and the complexity of their enquiry. The references are here are of portals to other worlds; gates, thresholds and deep underworld springs. There are echoes too of her reading into the history of ancient civilisations complemented by her travels and research for her books. Marija Gimbutas’s book The Language of the Goddess (1989), is referenced for the presence of ancient feminine forms, most notably in the painting Mother Earth in Pain in the mark-making showing a reverence of these earlier civilisations artforms, also seen in the drawing Women Weaving the World.

Another book that influenced, many in the 1970s and 80s was, Black Elk Speaks (1932) where trees are referred to as holding their roots in the air and their branches deep into the earth, changing our knowledge of their potency and ecology. Sharing their company on many bookshelves or cherished as library loans was Erich Neumann’s The Great Mother (1955) researched and written in the fifties as an analysis of the archetype of the Great Mother which offered new perspectives on the history of mother goddesses which influenced women artists and mothers at the time. Within the first publication were pull out diagrammatic visualisations of the essential attributes of the feminine, evoking the mapping of them in Monica’s drawings and colour studies available to us to view to date. The book has been seen as an enduring contribution to the literature inspired by Carl Jung, and was the first to analyse an archetype with such depth and scope providing a reference reader.

The text draws on ritual, mythology, art and records of dreams and fantasies to examine how the archetype has been outwardly expressed in many cultures and periods since prehistory. He shows how the feminine has been represented as goddess, monster, gate, pillar, tree, moon, sun, vessel and every animal from snakes to birds. Neumann discerns a universal experience rooted in the dialectical relation of growing consciousness symbolised by the Great Mother. His is a profound and enduring work recently republished for a new generation of readers. The American feminist academic Camille Paglia has written on feminism and the influence of the Great Mother feeling that its depth of research still makes it relevant today, linked into the enduring work of academic and archaeologist Marija Gimbutas. Reading these drawings of Monica‘s in terms of their references ensures that her
depth of personal scholarship resonates throughout her visual enquiry and within her writing. Guiding us to her reference pages and bibliography in her book The Great Cosmic Mother (1989) and to her personal archive residing in the family estate at present in the process of being catalogued, plus there are a number of collections of archival material available to scholars and students to interrogate her dynamic legacy re-presenting Herstory into the present times. 

In conclusion this Survey Show at Moderna Museet in 2023 offers to its visitors a very rich experience and a catalyst to a deeper enquiry into the legacy of Monica Sjöö artist, activist writer and eco-feminist. Her personal pilgrimages are mapped in these drawings and paintings offering an individual signature that remains unique.

Dr Su Fahy, Artist, Curator, Writer
MSCC – Monica Sjöö Curatorial Collective

The Serpent’s Tail Walk 

An artist short film inspired by the visionary paintings of artist, activist, writer and eco-feminist Monica Sjöö. Sjöö weaves symbolic iconography into her landscape compositions, forging a closer connection with our ancestors, both where they walked and dreamed. The walkers in our film set out to discover how Avebury Henge and the Serpent’s Tail Walk inspired Monica Sjöö’s art and spiritual awakening.

Play Video

The Serpents Tail Walk is a conceptual trail that mirrors the Fibonacci Sequence in Nature of a Spiral Form, commonly referred to as the Golden Ratio dating back to the Renaissance. The walk is an unintended gem as it takes in ancient sites that flow through the natural formations in the landscape, often walked by those in touch with Gaia and the language of goddess cultures.

Setting out from Avebury on the Western Edge the walk makes a short detour to the last two standing stones of Beckhampton Avenue, colloquially known as Adam and Eve but formally called the Longstones. The walk then takes you down Frog Lane, through the village of Avebury, where you can call into St James Church to see the famous carving on its font of a bishop slaying a Serpent. Added in the 12 th Century, the carving alludes to the pagan site of Avebury, itself now recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Arriving into the Avebury Stone Circles the walk weaves through the stones, sweeps down the Avenue and climbs over Waden Hill to reveal stunning views of Silbury Hill and the surrounding landscape. In the valley below it traces the course of the Winterbourne Chalk Stream, known as a Winter-Burna flowing only in winter, leads over Pan Bridge and the Springs, with views over to West Kennet Long Barrow and onwards to Swallowhead Springs Sacred Well. The Mary Energy Ley – Line curves through the Great River Kennet and the Spring at this point.

‘The ancients believed that life began in the waters and rivers, streams, wells and springs that are sacred to Her.’

‘The most universal legend is that of the power of the Serpent/Dragon, the magic powers of Water. She dwells in rivers and seas, in pools and wells, in the clouds, above the mountain peaks, in caves and underground caverns. The Avebury Monuments form the visual sculpted images of the Goddess within the centre of her longer and more ancient body.’

Part of the offbeat appeal of this particular walk is in the links to the essays of Monica Sjöö quoted here from Spiral Journey (Antenna, 2018) and to the writing of the renowned archaeologist Marija Gimbutas in her Language of the Goddess (Thames and Hudson,1989). Taken together they offer a very feminine perspective on the landscape traversed, encouraging the walker to feel a connection between places and a remarkable Herstory.

Artist, Curator & Editor: Su Fahy. Film Director & Editor: Lizzie White. Researcher: Alan Poffley

The Serpent’s Tail Walk © 2023
South – West England. UK
Start / Finish
Avebury Henge. SN8 1RF
5 miles. 4-5 hrs
Ordnance Survey Map: OS Explorer 157

Monica Sjöö at Bristol Radical History Festival in April

There will be a talk about Monica Sjöö, by Annie Johnston (Monica Sjöö Family Estate) and Dr Su Fahy (Monica Sjöö Curatorial Collective) at the Bristol Radical History Festival, on the 22nd of April. The life and legacy of artist, activist, eco-feminist and writer Monica Sjöö (1938-2005). The festival is free. More about: Bristol Radical History Festival 2023

Artist Su Fahy (MSCC) and one of our artists in residence, Patricia Brien have in collaboration with filmmaker Lizzie White, marked the 40th anniversary of Greenham Common Peace Camp in 2022 by making a short film Performing Resistance: Magnoxia a River Haunting (2022).

The film premiered at the Conjuring Creativity Conference in Stockholm in November and will feature at different venues across 2023/24 concluding its tour at The Goddess Conference 2024 the theme being GAIA (Mother Earth).

Performing Resistance was inspired by Monica Sjöö’s book, Spiral Journey, published in 2018 where she writes about her sense of connection to our sacred landscapes and her support for Greenham Common Peace Camp and many campaigns for Gaia, and our environment echoing the feelings of campaigners at both conferences for the people COP15 and COP27 in the year of 2022.

The film Performing Resistance: Magnoxia, a River Haunting (2022) can be viewed here online:

The film Performing Resistance: Magnoxia, a River Haunting (2022)

Performing Resistance: Letters to Monica Sjöö 2022

Celebrating the 40th Anniversary of Embrace the Base, when the Greenham Common Peace Camp Women and supporters encircled the Base, we are launching our Performing Resistance: Letters to Monica Sjöö – to reflect on the themes of women’s empowerment, the campaign against nuclear weapons and right to protest being still relevant today 40 years on.

We have received letters from writers, poets ,visual artists and activists inspired by the artist, activist, eco-feminist Monica Sjöö. The Letters are proof of the legacy of activism that has inspired so many over the years since the camp was set up. A clear protest for peace – as opposed to nuclear proliferation and nuclear weapons in our landscapes.

Follow the readings of the letter on MSCC Instagram:

Monica Sjöö created this calligram below as a poster to celebrate the circling of the base using visualisation to enact an event that stays in our minds in these times. 

Instagram curator for February – Terry Burke artist in residence 

Our artist in residence programme continues in 2023 with artist and painter Terry Burke contributing work inspired by the visionary painting of Monica Sjöö.

“Dreams are said to contain disconnected memory fragments, places we’ve been, faces we’ve seen, and situations that are partly familiar. Dreams not only replay memory fragments but also create new highly creative mixtures of memories and knowledge. A process that led to the creation of many works of art, poetry and scientific discovery.” – Compositions from our personal dream histories.

More about Terry Burke:

Follow the MSCC Instagram:

The dreaming series, by Terry Burke below.

‘Many years ago, when I was much younger, I dreamt that I was crouching, naked, on a mountainside, with huge, feathery wings. My hair was dyed yellow and my pubic hair was dyed to match. In the dream my arms were crossed over my chest. My left hand was placed on the shoulder which I was later to injure, as if to heal it.’

‘One night I dreamt that I was trying to escape from a pack of dinosaurs which had taken over the planet. The only way I could escape was to cling on to an aeroplane, too small for me to climb into the cockpit.’

2022 marking her legacy (1938-2005) 

Our legacy artist, activist and writer Monica Sjöö is celebrated with a green plaque dedicated to her artistic legacy in the Port City of Bristol living, painting campaigning and writing in Clifton in the 1960s and early 1970s.

The plaque has been initiated by The Monica Sjöö Curatorial Collective in association with Clifton and Hotwells Improvement Society CHIS and her family.

On November 19th 2022 the plaque was inaugurated, with a short talk by Dr Sue Tate, followed by the dedication by the Lord-Lieutenant of the City & County of Bristol, Mrs Peaches Golding OBE CStJ.

The Green Plaque is placed outside Dragon Workshop in Clifton Village. A welcome addition to mark a ’sense of place‘ for Monica Sjöö in Bristol’s Bohemia as it is historically known for its diverse and talented residents of the 1960s And 1970s. The artist, writer and eco-feminist activist Monica Sjöö lived for some years in Princess Victoria Street. The plaque we hope will then mark her residency in the city and create new conversations about Her life and work.

Instagram videos from the inauguration:

Artist in Residence for September – Beverley Skinner

Our Artist in Residence this month is featuring the legacy artist Beverley Skinner friend and exhibiting woman artist with Monica Sjoo, for the month of September. Beverley exhibited her work with Monica at the Womanpower Exhibition circa 1975 and also in the Woman Magic Touring Exhibition in the 1970s.

Beverley Skinner (1938-1999) was born in America. She studied at Hammersmith Art College, London, and later lived in Cromer, Norfolk and Bristol.

Both Beverley Skinner, and Monica Sjöö travelled together and exhibited at Bristol Art College, Kulturhuset Stockholm, Sweden Malmö Arts Hall, Stockholm, Sweden Great Georges Project, Liverpool, UK. 

Beverley Skinners work, is as contemporary today, as it was back in 1968 when she first started painting ‘Black and White Madonna and Children’,  with its vibrant colours, conceptual subject matter, diverse loving message, – is an incredible sight to see.

Beverley’s work and further information is featured in the University of Bristol Special Collections at and we will be featuring her paintings over the month of September to raise awareness of her work and contribution to group exhibitions of women artists.

Source: Monica Sjöö L&L Facebook Page

Beverley Skinner, left, with Monica Sjöö, taken at the "5 women artists - Images of Womanpower" Exhibition circa 1970s. Source: Monica Sjöö L&L Facebook Page
Beverley Skinner carrying a painting across the exhibition floor, with Monica Sjöö in the background. Source: Monica Sjöö L&L Facebook page

Below: Black and White Madonna and Children, by Beverley Skinner (1938-1999). The painting took 30 years (1968-1998) to finish, from 1998 until 2022, it had been in storage. “My paintings are here to help this world, to become a kinder and a happier place to be.” Beverley Skinner, 1994.

.Our Artist in Residence in this month of August is Evie Rey Artist poet and musician @evierey_art Poem The Woman Lovers ©️Evie Rey 2022

Instagram curator for August – Multidisciplinary Artist Evie Rey

Evie Rey is an identifying queer, lesbian woman who strives to create art, which openly celebrates and challenges identity. Not ‘woman enough’ or ’too much woman’, two things she was often told as an emerging queer woman; two things that help form the foundation of her art. Evie Rey’s work acknowledges the tidal wave of resilience and courage required to be queer (and a woman). She is an LGBTQ+ storyteller.

Although themes of sexuality and gender are mostly always the focus, she explores other areas of social activism, including politics and social constructs. Her use of medium includes graphite, watercolours, film, photography and sculpture, often combining mediums to create layered meaning and perceptions.

As a multidisciplinary artist, Evie Rey also explores her activism through spoken-word poetry, performing across Wales and Bristol.

More about Evie Rey here:
Follow Evie Rey at:

Earthwoman - Skywoman by Monica Sjöö. (1995)

Instagram curator for July – Jo Heckett artist in residence 

Jo Heckett is an Artist /Poet /Earth Worshipper and Envisioner of the Matriarchy.

More about Jo Heckett here:
Follow Jo Heckett at:

The Glitoris, SuperPink: The Antidote to Shame and She Told Me Her Name

One of the things Monica Sjöö explored was the interface between the Earth, the power of the feminine and the Divine. We have forgotten how to feel this in our bodies, and part of my intention is to help people, and women especially, re-member (put back into their bodies) and be re-minded (put back into their minds) the knowledge of their power when connected to the Earth.
These three paintings follow a similar exploration, using the vulva as symbolism for magic and spirituality.

SuperPink Keys to The Queendom

A series of keys made from re-used materials, eco glitter and semi precious stones. Each key is a focus for liberation, a reminder that freedom is always available, and a symbol of self sovereignty.   

Monica Sjöö – The time is now and it is overdue!

Beaconsfield Gallery Vauxhall
11 June – 10 September 2022 

Controversial paintings by artist-activist Monica Sjöö (1938-2005) with performances, reading groups, films, workshops and symposia led by contemporary artists and writers including Katy Deepwell, Minna Haukka, Harriet Hill, Sam Hodge, Islaja, Kristin Luke, Linda Persson, Rachel Fallons, Raju Rage, Anne Robinson, Tears|Ov.

New Exhibition Summer 2022

The upcoming Monica Sjöö exhibition at Beaconsfield Gallery, Vauxhall, London, UK, is curated by Naomi Siderfin, David Crawforth and Minna Haukka. Naomi and David are the founders of Beaconsfield (the gallery space has been running for 25 years). Minna is a co-organiser of the mobile Feminist Library in London and also a Finnish artist in London.

The gallery curatorial team are staging a retrospective of Monica Sjöö’s paintings and poster art. The show is called, Monica Sjöö The Time is NOW And it is Overdue! The exhibition runs from the 11th June until 10th September 2022.

During the show the curatorial team has invited a selection of artists who have an affinity to Monica’s work and life outlook. There is also a planned seminar on the 25th of June with keynote speaker n.paradoxa founder Katy Deepwell and others are being confirmed. Details will be released on the website.

Artist Linda Persson was asked early on to participate. Her decision to contribute based on the power that Monica’s work holds, aims to emphasise not just her own practice but all those women, womxn and bodies that still fight the same battles of violation and disrespect. Linda has invited Rachel Fallon (Irish artist) who made the fantastic work Aprons of Power that were used in the protests for the repeal of the 8th amendment in Ireland quite recently. The programe includes a re-making of Aprons of Power as a workshop 17th June 12-5pm that Linda and Rachel will lead culminating in a live promenade march and performance from Beaconsfield in Lambeth alongside the Thames to Parliament.

On 16th June 2-5pm artists Sam Hodge and Linda Persson will lead a walk as a workshop around the area with participants to collect material (seeds, stuff from the River Thames) to grind down and make colour from. This will be made into larger textile works creating imblots/ Rorschach images. This will also be a collaboration.

Exhibition Preview Opening Performance by Linda Persson 

“I am staging a work on the opening 10th of June, first made for a solo-exhibition at Växjö Konsthall 2019/20 called To Breathe Through The Bones Of The Dead. Here I researched archives of Växjö old trial books on tolvmannaed of women accused, tortured and executed as ‘trollkona’- this was about 50 years before The Great Noise explode (Stora Oväsendet). And it focusses on women in Småland. I wanted to honour these women who were killed that never received a funeral and name them out loud. I think it is important to start to say those names, to make them into individuals, not just a group. The situation was governed by a man who was an entrepreneur really – and sold his work as being trained in Germany on how to find women who were in cohort with the Devil. The accusations start from gossip to things like ‘she was seen riding on a wolf at night naked’ or her evilness made the hoofs on the animals rot etc. Some of these women were independent and owned small parcels of land to have a farm. And the process did several things- it rendered these women to lose power over their bodies, and it also enabled bigger landlords in charge of their land for use to (for example) Iron mining.”

“I wanted to lift this as it has, in my view, created the situation we still suffer from today: women are not in charge of their bodies and the violation against the female/ other body is still very current themes, crazy and unbelievable. I was asking how is it possible that peoples’ attitudes can turn so quickly from civilisation to barbaric actions. I see the oppression of ‘other’ bodies as a ‘colonial’ grip that connects this to exploitation and disregard for the planet and the ongoing battle to change ways to improve the climate for our shared earth.”

“At the Monica Sjöö retrospective The Time is NOW and it is Overdue! I am re-staging the Memorial Ritual because it is current and scary times yet again. Rather than just doing my ‘own’ art and showing my ‘own’ stuff, I’ve also taken the opportunity to invite and share this with other artists that make work important in relation to the body and the climate.”

“The Memorial Ritual will this time also be processed with a live score from the all female group Tears | Ov that makes experimental sounds and are based in London: and the people joining me in the ritual will read out the names of the women alongside the making of rope to connect each glass bauble representing each woman creating a sort of necklace.”

Follow Linda Persson and her art at: or web:

Instagram curator for June – Deasy Bamford

Originally from a small dairy farm in Cornwall Deasy Bamford has worked across cultures and landscape for over 30 years, bringing peoples together through cultural sharing, music and the freedom to explore. She has established intercultural music festivals and youth and family projects that connect through culture, creativity nature and space. She is a roamer and lover of wild open spaces, mandala maker, photographer, spoken word and land artist. “I continue to delight in free education and inspiration, the meeting of hearts and minds especially through music and creativity and being an outright idealist, because what other option do we have to change the world of power and knowledge imbalances?”

Thanks for inviting me to have this residency, I’ve enjoyed looking through my work and remembering the inspiration and courage of Monica , to be her own artist. We often fail to recognise that these creative instincts we have are such a major part of our existence here on earth and allow us to find ways to belong here . I hope that my work has reached and touched others along the way. /Deasy

More about Deasy Bamford’s work here:

Follow the MSCC Instagram:

The Pangolin and the last daffodil

The man stooped in the dark city lane
tenderly he picked a glowing daffodil.
Glancing up his eyes caught
the gleam of the last flower standing
Like a bee , he flew straight and landed
his fingers on its stem.
Would he really , I wondered, deny the neighbourhood
Their last daffodil?
He did.
This is how we are destroying ourselves.

The shy elusive Pangolin
Is heading for extinction
They’re poached and trafficked
Across the world for taste and medication.
This little creature too special to survive
Is valued for it rarity
And thus condemned to die

Where is the noble thought
strong enough to staunch
the endless “I must have”.
Or must we watch and cry
Are we the fools who cannot choose
to adapt our ways and thrive?

Deasy Bamford

Radical Landscapes at Tate Liverpool
5 May – 4 September 2022

Monica Sjöö’s painting ‘The Earth is Our Mother’ is included in this interesting exhibition at Tate Liverpool about activism, trespass, and the climate emergency.

From rural raves in Castlemorton to anti-nuclear protests at Greenham Common, this exhibition presents a radical view of the British landscape in art.

Over 150 paintings, sculptures, photographs, films by artists including Jeremy Deller, Ingrid Pollard, Tanoa Sasraku, Derek Jarman, Hurvin Anderson, Claude Cahun, Alan Lodge and Monica Sjöö.

Short film and Podcast from Nasjonalmuseet

Norwegian artist Inge Ås talks about art and activism in the 1970s and
her experience of seeing Monica Sjöös painting God Giving Birth in 1973. 

In the 1970s, Inge Ås left her studio as a reaction to what she calls a snobby and male-dominated art world, and instead started the lesbian printing company Sfinxa together with a number of other feminists. With posters, slogans and theater as weapons, they fought their battles with humor and punch.

This podcast called: Brytning – Break – The art of standing on the barricade, is about art and activism, and produced by the Norwegian National MuseumNasjonalmuseet.

The series offers personal encounters with art, architecture and design, with the host Gisle A. Gjevestad Agledahl. 

New Instagram curator for April – Angharad Iris 

Angharad Iris is a Bristol based ritual artist exploring themes of witchcraft, ceremony and folklore. Her work closely explores the seasons and landscapes, using a range of earth materials including sheep’s wool, natural fibers, human hair, menstrual blood, wood and stone. Angharad is a ceremonial textile maker and uses her woven pieces in ritual, weaving words, dance and music into her work. She is a Flutist, Harpist and a drum beater, using sound and movement to conjure magic into spaces.

Angharad explores the journey of a woman reclaiming the identity of a witch in the 21st Century, whilst living in the hustle of a city. Her work is a force of dispelling, after centuries of witch persecution and the global spread pandemic of violence against women and children. Her work is confronting to many, sometimes uncomfortable, sometimes invigorating. Her textiles evoke an ancient remembering of the old ways and a connection to mysticism and unseen forces.

You can follow Angharad’s work and journey here: and

Witches we rise. Poem by Angharad Iris as a response to circling as a coven under Monica Sjöös painting “Celebrating Ancient Celtic Wales/Cymru” (1993)

Witches we rise,

In great swathes of broken bones,

Mended wounds,

And torn memories,

With the red thread,

And the fine needle,

To slowly sew, slowly sew, slowly sew,

The wounds – in an attempt to find a place of healing.

We rise in the spaces of the liminal,

In the mysteries of the unseen,

In the dark spaces long forgotten,

Neglected and strewn to the wayside.

We circle with madness of mind,

In the moans and groans of the women,

Cast aside from the norms,

sounds emitted from ancient overtones – 

you’d say we are mad – lock her up – she’s a danger to society. A threat.

We gasp, 

we sob,

we wail,

we howl, 

– states imbued by the water buffalo, 

the deer matriarch,

skins that make the drum the mother of us all –

We rise in the sounds of the Goddess, our elders and foremothers,

In all her hues, her shades,

With sounds spiralling – infinite.

We rise as if in battle,





Painting the landscape with aspects of earth herself- 

This is a space where grief is cracked open,

And just how the Morrgian circled on the battlefield,

We circle to invoke the raven,

The crow,

And the Black Fox,

the lore of our bones,

the lore of our blood,

Witches, we rise.

Monica Sjöö at The Altered Festival – When art meets activism 

The Altered Festival is the seedling of @hue_artivist many years ago, and finally came into bloom the week of the Spring Equinox, March 2022. The Altered Festival is an inclusive multicultural arts platform that embraces diverse perspectives and challenges cultural stereotypes. Our intention is to shine a light on the solutions available to people at this challenging time in Bristol and the world. We are looking to take the festival to Wales later on this year – so keep an eye out on our page:

The festival spanned across ten 10 days within the centre of Bristol’s shopping capital at @keepartit studios. Art in the face of capitalism. Quite literally.

We had artists of all kinds exhibiting work within the studio – and performances within the shop window, aka ‘THE BOX’. The box, in all it’s symbolism became the stage in which dancers, wordsmiths, musicians, poets, painters and theatre performers all showcased their work – with the gaze of the shoppers passing by. Looks of curiosity and confusion. The box brought up a myriad of emotions and reactions in both the artists and the public. Something I will explore in my later posts.

But for now… Monica Sjöö. With thanks to the Monica Sjöö Curatorial Collective and Feminist Archive South, we exhibited four of Monica’s prints and a placard used as part of the MSCC climate change protest earlier on this year. Her bold prints a striking contrast to the myriad of hues in the studio spaces – vivid colours and ancient symbols drawing in curious passers by. Monica’s work has had, and continues to have, a major impact on my life – so to exhibit alongside my favourite artist was a deeply touching and overwhelming experience. A dream of mine. To showcase the work of a woman who’s impact is infinite – just like the spiral. With continued thanks to the MSCC for their support in making this happen. 

Blessed be the Goddess!
Angharad Iris 
You can follow Angharad’s work and journey here: and

Instagram curator for April – Angharad Iris 

In my final post, I want to explore the movement of Monica’s work – regardless of where her paintings or prints find themselves, the spirit of the work finds itself in the body, in nature, in spirit – whether we resist it or not.

Monica’s collection of work moves and shapes itself – and just like that – it’s hard to ignore Monica’s presence in the room. Her work, like an altar – devoted to the Goddess and woman – runs through us as an unseen force, a magik unclear, or often confronting to many. Images, symbols, markings all bearing an ancient mysticism, largely unwelcome in our current society. And yet… Monica Sjöö’s work still bears witness to something far bigger, far stronger than that of the visual impact – but an invocation – a surfacing of the ancient Goddess cultures. A deep remembering felt in our blood and bones.

And this is why the work of Monica Sjöö Curatorial Collective (MSCC) and the Feminist Archive South is key to keeping the movement, the shaping of Monica Sjöö’s work rising – like fire-tenders, burning embers of a fire that must be kept aflame. For Monica Sjöö’s work signals the reclamation of the Goddess – in a world where we are experiencing a globally spread ‘shadow’ pandemic of violence against women and girls – it’s the work of Monica Sjöö that truly reminds us of our power, our innate magik, a potent invocation of the Goddess.

Thank you MSCC for providing me with this wonderful opportunity to offer my words.
Blessed be the Goddess!
Angharad Iris and

Monica Sjöö (1938-2005)

New Instagram curator for Mars

Patricia Brien on the artwork – The Sheela Na Gig, Creation (1978)

Thanks to the Monica Sjöö Curatorial team for asking me to be guest Instagram curator for the month of March. A huge honour.

The Sheela Na Gig, Creation (1978) painting by Monica Sjöö is unapologetically focused on the great cosmic vagina, site of pleasure and creation. The world coming forth from the creation moment includes dancing birds celebrating with bare chested, sisters, arms entwined basking in the goodwill of the mother goddess.

I included this image in monoprint form from the Feminist Archive South together with 4 other monoprints in my recent exhibition ‘Invoking Absence’ (2021). The exhibition considered mineral layers, landscapes, waters and the invisible beings of place within a cycle of deep and neoteric time. The inclusion of Sjöö’s prints from the archive enabled a dialogue with goddess feminism, an area of practice that has drawn criticism from within some feminist quarters for being essentialist. But which has also been defended as part of a spiritual tradition that has been unfairly silenced too. 

I wanted to draw on narratives of ritual, land spirituality, sacred women’s business and mythologies which give direction to different facets of contemporary Western pagan thinking. For me the archival pieces were an important curatorial acknowledgement of the pioneering work of eco-feminist artists like Sjöö; a lineage which inspires artistic, creative and spiritual eco-activism today.

Patricia Brien, Curator
PhD Candidate Bath Spa University, Environmental Humanities / Curatorial Studies / Textiles Art
Instagram: @patricia_brien

Follow the MSCC Instagram:

Ancient Yew Mother (1992) by Monica Sjöö.

Patricia Brien on the artwork – Ancient Yew Mother (1992)

I am preparing for an upcoming exhibition – Plant Communitas – and so I explored Monica Sjöö’s work looking specifically for the way in which she engaged with vegetal beings. There are several paintings which reference trees and sacred tree entities including the Forest People (1997), The Queen Tree of Avebury (1988) and Spirit of the Trees (1994), Tree Madonna (1992), Tree Spirits And Radiant Beings (1994), and The Bleeding Yew Mother (1985).

I chose Ancient Yew Mother (1992) because there’s a sense of dynamic gesture and movement in the trees, deep in the dark forest shadows. It is likely to be a sacred grove, not one to be trifled with either. The Yew tree itself is linked spiritually to the Tree of Life, an ancient mythological narrative which was connected with a female deity or mother goddess and the cycles of life and death.

The trees represented in Sjöö’s paintings are enspirited and animate entities, persons, plant kin and Sjöö reveals a keen reverence for their spiritual importance as part of a living other-than-human ecosystem. Female spirits and deities are embodied in the trees themselves and they are important landscape elements. What is interesting to me is that out of all the plant kindom, it is the trees with physical stature and significance that are incorporated into Sjöö’s paintings. I was perhaps looking for common plants and weeds that are used traditionally for healing, various ritual, seasonal significance etc, although there are references to mushrooms (fungi). Her vision is clearly largescale and land-based and there’s a sense of travelling through and with the land that emerges distinctly in these images. There were many sacred sites to engage with for Sjöö, a life’s work. The ‘domestic’ and common plants are there equally for other creative wise ones to work with.

Patricia Brien, Curator
PhD Candidate Bath Spa University, Environmental Humanities / Curatorial Studies / Textiles Art
Instagram: @patricia_brien

Follow the MSCC Instagram:

Patricia Brien on the artwork –
Spirits Of The Earth Sky & Underworld (1996)

Balancing: With the Vernal Equinox. Sjöö’s Spirits of the Earth Sky and Underworld aligns with that cosmological moment of balance between day and night. The sensory delight of warm sun, bird song, and new green growth beckons as we ‘Persephone-like’ emerge from the cold underworlds. 

In Monica Sjöö’s painting the upper and lower worlds are equally, differently alive and everything has its place, overseen by the radiant presence of the mother goddess.

Patricia Brien, Curator
PhD Candidate Bath Spa University, Environmental Humanities / Curatorial Studies / Textiles Art

Follow the MSCC Instagram:

Spirits Of The Earth Sky & Underworld (1996) by Monica Sjöö
Summerland (1996) by Monica Sjöö.

Patricia Brien on the artwork – Summerland (1996)

In my final week of this Monica Sjöö Archive residency, not only have I become really adept at adding a double umlaut over the Ös, but this last week of sunny, warm English weather has made me long for the relaxed, door-open living days of summer. A pilgrimage-lite might be in order. I’ve been wanting to walk St Jacques de Compostelle for too long now, but inspired by the pilgrimage lines and paths here, I think local is the perfect choice. I recently saw Jill Smith’s online presentation (with thanks to Su Fahy’s recommendation) and was inspired by her creative durational pilgrimages and dedicated pilgrim-artist’s life path. Sjöö and Smith were friends and walked and made sacred pilgrimages together too.

So, I knew when my eyes fixed my eyes on ‘Summerland’ (1996) that this had to be the final work of Sjöö to celebrate here.

 “Summerland is the land of the faeries and the dead, and this is my interpretation of the gateway into this realm of the White Goddess who carries the souls of the recent dead in Her great winged arms in a mantle of light…” [Sjöö, M (2004) Retrospective Exhibition Catalogue]

Many thanks to the Monica Sjöö Archive team in the UK and SE for this thought-provoking opportunity.

Dedicated to Pauline Maria.

Patricia Brien, Curator
PhD Candidate Bath Spa University, Environmental Humanities / Curatorial Studies / Textiles Art

New zine about the visionary Swedish artist Monica Sjöö

A zine published by Legion Projects about the visionary Swedish artist Monica Sjöö (1938-2005). The publication features full colour reproductions of her work and includes contextualising essays by Legion Projects, Ruth Lindley, Sue Tate, Rupert White, as well as Monica’s own writings.

Monica Sjöö spent most of her life in Bristol and Wales, and was deeply engaged with the landscape around her. Her paintings show Britain’s sacred sites as portals to the ancient past, of which she also wrote about extensively. Her spirituality was intimately entwined with her politics, and she was an active member of grassroots initiatives throughout her life.

This zine is an introduction to Monica’s work, and is intended to recognise her important contribution to art, activism and spirituality in the UK and internationally.

Order a copy of the zine or buy a poster at the Legion Projects web shop: