Layla Andrews and six artists, including Charlotte Mei, visualise a funny saying about a fish and a bicycle for IWD

In a new exhibition taking place in London’s Brixton Village, seven artists respond to the phrase: “A woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle.”

8 March 2022


To celebrate International Women’s Day, Layla Andrews’ A Fish Without A Bicycle will open at Brixton Village tomorrow (9 March). Based around the saying “a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle”, the exhibit sees Layla and seven other artists visualise female independence in an inclusive space; the pop-up show aims to make visitors typically excluded from art spaces feel “welcome and excited” Layla tells It’s Nice That.

She says the phrase “humorously expresses the view that a woman can live a complete, happy and successful life without the need of a man. Having been brought up by only women, this has always rung true for me.” Diving into this concept, Layla has bought together 20 original works ranging from sculpture and collage to photography, drawings and paintings. Creatives featured in the exhibition include: artist Jo Kitchen; photographer Louisa Tratalos; painter Gayle Ebose; mixed-media artists Imogen Allen and Charlotte Mei; illustrator Melissa Kitty Jarram; and visual artist Sheila Maurice-Grey.

A highlight for Layla includes the contribution of Louisa Tratalos, who will be launching a zine titled Women That Live Alone. “Her photography captures women around the world in the intimate settings of their homes – they are really beautiful, personal images,” says Layla. The exhibition will also see Layla unveil a series of large-scale sea-life sculptures set against the backdrop of Brixton Village’s Market Row. Each sculpture has been named after key female family members, who the artist credits as being imperative to her success. In continuation of the community spirit surrounding the Brixton Village event, the sculptures have been made from rubbish and second-hand materials tenants have helped Layla collect and source.

“I absolutely love that we are creating a pop-up show within the Village in a space that is currently unoccupied. It is really important to me that art is accessible and reaches people,” says Layla, “I hope that by celebrating brilliant artists in the setting of Brixton Village makes people (from both art backgrounds and not), feel welcomed and excited.” The artist concludes: “This International Women’s Day, I wanted to celebrate brilliant female artists and the women who have shaped me to be who I am today, in a space that felt inclusive and brings people together. Some of the artists I have admired for years, some I have been lucky to work and collaborate with previously, and one of the artists I met in Brixton Village one day when we complimented one another’s outfits and then discovered each other’s art!”


Layla Andrews: A Fish Without A Bicycle (Copyright © Layla Andrews, 2022)


Gayle Ebose: Still, I Will Wait For You, Fatima (Copyright © Gayle Ebose, 2020)


Charlotte Mei: Stargaze (Copyright © Charlotte Mei, 2022)


(Copyright © Melissa Kitty Jarram, 2022)


Jo Kitchen: Dancing With My Shadow (Copyright © Jo Kitchen, 2021)


Louisa Tratalos: Angela, Women Who Live Alone (Copyright © Louisa Tratalos, 2022)


Louisa Tratalos: Jane, Women Who Live Alone (Copyright © Louisa Tratalos, 2022)


Gayle Ebose: They Call Her Virtual Karette, We Call Her Cindy (Copyright © Gayle Ebose, 2021)


Louisa Tratalos: Sai, Women Who Live Alone (Copyright © Louisa Tratalos, 2022)

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Charlotte Mei: Selfie (Copyright © Charlotte Mei, 2022)

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About the Author

Liz Gorny

Liz (she/they) joined It’s Nice That as news writer in December 2021. After graduating in Film from The University of Bristol, they worked freelance, writing for independent publications such as Little White Lies, INDIE magazine and design studio Evermade.

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