The Fence and The Shadow is a new series of paintings by artist Dr. Sally Payen based on her exploration and research about the contested landscape of Greenham Common and the women’s peace camps and anti-nuclear protests that took place in the 1980s.The Women’s Peace Camp was originally established at RAF Greenham Common, Berkshire, to protest against the nuclear weapons that were being housed there. The majority of protest was undertaken during the 1980s, including famous actions such as ‘Embrace the Base’, where hundreds of women joined hands in a giant circle around the perimeter of the base. Although the missiles were removed in the early 1990s, protests continued at the site for years. Today, Greenham Common contains many traces and memorials of the protest and camps that happened there and is still an emotive symbol of Women’s Activism.
Payen’s exhibition explores the protests, stories of the women who were involved in the peace camps and the site today. Inspired by growing up in the community close to the site, research in the archives, interviews with the women who were involved in the protests and extensive site visits to Greenham Common as it is now, Payen explores Greenham’s continued relevance today.