A huge Birkin bag and a giant plait

13 October, 2020

Gazelli Art House gallery presents “Tools of Endearment”, a series of works by a Greek-born artist Kalliopi Lemos. Two new sculptures appeared on the streets of London in October: one of them is part of Frieze Sculpture in Regent’s Park while the other is located in Mayfair. The sculptures explore the role of femininity in modern society and are oversized versions of the iconic Hermès handbag, named after Jane Birkin, and a cut-off female plait.


A giant braid with the simple name “The Plait” is exhibited at Frieze Sculpture, where it is one of the main highlights. The event sometimes referred to as “museum without walls” is held in the English gardens area of Regent’s Park and will run until October 18. In the meantime, “Bag of Aspirations”, which was made in the image and likeness of the famous Hermès Birkin bag, opened as part of the annual Mayfair Art Weekend, which, much like Frieze Sculpture, usually takes place in the summer. The huge bag is located on the corner of New Bond Street and Brooke Street, where it will remain until October 31.



Kalliopi Lemos is a sculptor, painter and installation artist known for tackling women’s issues through her work. The “Tools of Endearment” series consists of various symbols of femininity and in addition to “The Plait” and “Bag of Aspirations” also includes two other sculptures: “Bra” and “Corset”, which can now be found at Golden Square in Soho. Gazelli Art House points out that:


“Because these sculptures present tools through which femininity presents itself to the public, their placement in the social field reinforces Lemos’s contention that such tools are required in a contemporary world unwelcoming to the bodies of their wearers. Displaying such armaments in the public arena allows Lemos to raise broader questions about the character of a social field that might require the weaponization of one’s shoes, undergarments, pocketbooks, or jewelry. Lemos suggests that the tools of beautification must also be understood as mechanisms of defense.”


Gazelli Art House was founded by an Azerbaijani Mila Askarova and opened in 2012 on Dover Street. Over the past 10 years, the gallery has become an important art platform in London, working with a variety of genres and artists from all over the world, including Azerbaijanis and Russians. More details can be found on the gallery’s official website.


Cover photo: Kalliopi Lemos “Bag of Aspirations” (Gazelli Art House)


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