400 Women | Tamsyn Challenger

Collaborating with Amnesty International, Tamsyn Challenger has organised an exhibition by 200 artists in response to the murders of thousands of women in Ciudad Juárez, Mexico, “the most violent zone in the world outside of declared war zones”, synonymous with gender related crime, brutal murders and the unresolved disappearances of women, known as  ‘Las Muertas de Juarez’, in an attempt to draw attention to and raise awareness of the tragic issue.After a visit to the area in 2005, Challenger became aware of the horrific situation and got the idea for the project after locals gave her postcard images of their loved and lost ones in a desperate hope that they may be found. These conjured up the idea of 400 portraits to be created by artists of the missing women, with each image being presented in the traditional ‘retablo’ format, a religious portrait widespread in the Catholic Churches of Mexico.

The aim of the exhibition is to directly confront these longstanding issues and challenge the injustices of the country’s government who continue to ignore and disregard the need to asses the treatment of women.  Well known feminist artists, such as Tracey Emin and Paula Rego will be showing work and an opportunity for the public to get involved in this worthwhile project, will be open on Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th November.  Lise Bjorne Linnert will be running sessions using multimedia practises, to embroider the names of the deceased and disappeared onto delicate labels to ensure that the women of Ciudad Juarez will never be forgotten.

The 400 Women exhibition has been curated by Ellen Mara De Wachter and will be on from 12th-30th November 2010 at Shoreditch Town Hall Basement.

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4 Responses to 400 Women | Tamsyn Challenger

  1. Karen says:

    I only heard about this as I was watching an old edition of the Review Show. I would really like to see this work. Are there any plans to show it elsewhere?

    • Spilt | ART says:

      Hi Karen,

      Thank you for your comment and interest. From what we know, the ‘400 Women’ exhibition unfortunately ended on the 30th November. We are unsure of whether or not they will show the exhibition again, but sometimes successful shows do travel to other cities. We will do our best to try and find if the organisers will potentially consider continuing the show in another location, but in the meantime, fingers crossed!

      If you wanted to find out more about the exhibition, you can check out the curator’s blog for artist names here:


      or you can see some of the featured paintings on the exhibition’s facebook page here:


      You can also find out more information here on the Amnesty International website:


      and of course the main website provides a good range of interviews and reviews you can read up on:


      We hope that you find this helpful and if you were interested in similar exhibitions regarding gender issues in art, we would be more than happy to send you some information on other exhibitions we highly recommend and urge you to keep a look out for spilt | ART updates.

      Many thanks and best wishes,


      • Laree says:

        Amazing work! I’d like to see more such articles and work in the world . . . in fact, I’d like to encourage more artists to participate in such projects for we are true voices of the world in so many formats. As an artist and woman who is fortunate enough to live in America with all that it encompasses, both good and bad, I commend others for standing up, speaking out and taking a stand against the inhumane acts of the world.

      • Spilt | ART says:

        Hi Laree,

        Thank you for such a great response. Please look out for more articles like this on spilt | ART and we’ll look out for you!

        Best wishes,


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