Debate rages over exhibition that gave pedestrians ‘no choice’ but to see nudity

A resident has complained the exhibition in the library gallery could be seen by children.

A resident has complained the exhibition in the library gallery could be seen by children. - Credit: Madeleine Bender

What is art to some is offensive to others it seems, with Willesden Library at the centre of a row over its recent exhibition. 

Madeleine Bender has complained to Brent Council that Stanislas Slawomir Blatton’s exhibition Corpus: A Presentation of Bodies - which proudly shows female genitalia - was “inappropriate for display” inside the library’s gallery. 

The exhibition ran from December 14 to January 7.

Madeline, a Brent resident, said in her letter: “Pedestrians walking down on Grange Road [had] no choice but to see lewd pictures of naked women through the windows of the building.

“My objection is not to the exhibition, but to the way it was displayed. The library should protect children and other people it may offend.”

A write up promoting the exhibition gave a different take on the works - which had been put together over ten years. “Watercolour becomes both metaphoric and metonymic of body fluids and flows,” it read, adding that the art celebrates the female form. 

Brent Council said other than “this one complaint” the feedback has been positive. 

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A spokesperson added: “The gallery in Willesden Green presents many works from Brent based and other London artists. 

“These exhibitions have successfully explored many different themes, but like all art, it will not always be to everyone’s taste. 

“This exhibition was located in a separate area out of view of the children’s library.” 

From Wednesday (January 19) the gallery will show Street on the Walk, a curation by Yang Li and Jingwen Weng looking at pedestrians who get lost in their headphones on commutes.

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