PROJECT FOCUS: ELLEN LESPERANCE'S W.I.T.C.H. CLOAKS / by Britt Howard

The feminist/socialist collective, W.I.T.C.H. (Women’s International Terrorist Conspiracy from Hell), first established in NYC in 1968, has emerged in years since in various locales, including a current Portland chapter. The long history of the activist group inspired Portland artist, Ellen Lesperance’s recent project W.I.T.C.H. 1985, on view at the Portland Art Museum through Nov. 5th. PGF was honored to collaborate with Ellen on the 13 black wool cloaks, which before being displayed at the Museum, were part of a series of performances at the Seattle Art Fair. Ellen based the design for the garments on a cloak worn by an activist at the Greenham Common Women’s Peace Camp, which was featured in a scene from the 1985 made for television video, "Can't Beat It Alone."

 Process images and photographs of Ellen’s performance below!

The cloaks in action: W.I.T.C.H. 1985 performance at the Seattle Art Fair (images courtesy of Adams & Ollman). Wooden pentagram pedestal by Jason Rens

The performance continued outside in Seattle's Pioneer Square. Image: @ellenlesperance

The performance continued outside in Seattle's Pioneer Square. Image: @ellenlesperance