The Dinner Party, 1975-1979, by Judy Chicago
Image from the artist's website - www.judychicago.com
Please visit the original website for further information
Four or five weeks ago we started a new unit at art school with a new teacher who introduced us to the work of Feminist Artist Judy Chicago and her major piece, The Dinner Party. Ever since that day I have been obsessed with this concept. Briefly, Chicago began her art career in time for the Second Feminist Wave. She knew she had to do something about women being wiped out of history, with the history books barely mentioning their contribution to society and brushing over their achievements. Chicago came up with the concept of presenting a dinner party for 39 women from history, a place setting for each one, representing each one. She began in prehistory and selected women up to the present day (1970s). Furthermore, inside the triangular table setting is a porcelain tiled floor with the names of 999 more women who contributed throughout history. Please read Chicago's website to get the full detail on this groundbreaking piece.
Having admired her work, let me say I do not agree with some of Chicago's quotes. I'm not sure I would agree with her on many things. However, The Dinner Party is a fantastic concept and sends a huge message to the world.
I've been obsessed with it though, and I've been obsessed because I feel it's time to have another Dinner Party. We are now in the Third Feminist Wave. We need a new message. I don't think the second wave was all that successful, but it did break some very hard ground. We need to keep pushing for women to be released from slavery - and believe me, we are still enslaved. I don't want women to rule over men, I want equality in all ways.
So - I would like to create my own dinner party - Dinner with the Goddesses. It will be a 21st century message to 21st century women, taking up the fight that Chicago and so many other women throughout time have dared to fight. Last night the design for my first dinner plate came to me in a dream. I know I need to do this. It will be a huge project, but I'll share it with you along the way, and hope you want to come on the journey with me.