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Tits Out, Taps Aff! Mural Collaboration with Michaela McManus for Clydeside Expressway

Our new mural collaboration, Taps Aff! attempts to highlight, disrupt and challenge the way women and other marginalised genders are represented in street art by hand-picking, subverting, and re-imagining pre-existing art historical paintings in a pointed yet humorous way.


Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters is painted by an unknown artist and hangs in the Louvre Museum in Paris. We chose this painting to inspire our own design due to the directness of the subjects’ gazes, the Sapphic ambiguity of the composition and the shifting implications of the painting, through both an historical and a contemporary lens. Whilst through a 21st Century lens the work denotes themes of queerness and sexuality, historical symbolism suggests themes of fertility and sisterhood. Primarily we want our artwork to capture the intimate and supportive bond shared by women. By fostering a sense of unity and solidarity in today’s context, our mural emphasises the importance of these relationships and challenges the notion that the female body exists solely for the pleasure of others. We’ve chosen to represent ourselves in the piece, reclaiming our bodies as a symbol of self-expression and authenticity within the incredibly male-dominated context of graffiti and street art. We hope that our decision to be vulnerable in this way challenges learned expectations and encourages the viewer to embrace a more inclusive and considered vision of gender within the culture.


'Gabrielle d’Estrées and One of Her Sisters', Late 16th Century, oil on wood, 96cm x 125cm, Musée du Louvre.

In the background, we’ve re-imagined a previous interpretation of the painting, The Key to Dreams by the surrealist painter René Magritte. This particular interpretation was used for the cover of John Berger’s seminal text, Ways of Seeing. This is where Berger first coined the term ‘the male gaze’, observing that, ‘Men act and women appear. Men look at women. Women watch themselves being looked at’.


This text seemed highly significant within the framework of our vision for the collaboration. Incorporating this surrealist element within the design aims to subvert traditional expectations, blend unexpected imagery and symbolism, and disrupt convention whilst inviting viewers to question the ways in which the female body is portrayed and consumed by the male gaze.


Cover of 'Ways of Seeing', by John Berger (Penguin Modern Classics) 2008 edition.

The railway arches at SWG3 provide a new and unique backdrop for the mural, with their exposed and industrial aesthetic adding depth and context to the artwork. The juxtaposition between the classical-inspired figures against the urban environment shines light on the themes explored in the piece, providing a stark contrast to the way in which women are often represented in this context.



We hope that this mural serves as a humorous catalyst for meaningful conversations about the male gaze and equal representation in street art, by purposefully challenging the often overtly sexualised and one-dimensional portrayals created without context, and without critique or repercussion. By reinterpreting classical artworks through a feminist lens, we hope not only to challenge these existing power dynamics but hope to inspire other artists to continue to make their voices heard. Taps Aff! intends to dismantle stereotypes, nurture conversations about more diverse representation, and champion the voices of women and all other marginalised genders in the world of street art and beyond.

Taps Aff, Free the Nipple and Power to Your Paint Brushes!! xx




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