Saturday, 20 December 2014
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The Iron Lady goes Underground

There’s one less place you can go to escape the furore over Baroness Thatcher’s funeral, with the London Underground hosting a series of artistic depictions of the Iron Lady.

Rusty Iron Lady

Rusty Iron Lady, by Paul Tacklenberg

The exhibition (called, of course, Iron Lady) is opening at London’s Gallery Different on 17 April – the day of Thatcher’s funeral – and selected works will also be displayed across the Tube network, with Westminster station already signed up.

The exhibition is organised by Art Below, which is aiming to provide a balanced view of Thatcher’s life and legacy and ‘highlight the divide in people’s thoughts and feelings towards her’.

The Milky Lady

The Milky Lady, by Thom Earle

Such attempts are overt – with Ben Moore’s pair of images showing Maggie in heaven (based on Rubens’ Assumption of the Virgin Mary):

Maggie in Heaven (after the Assumption of the Virgin Mary)

On Earth as it is in Heaven (after the Assumption of the Virgin Mary), by Ben Moore

And, er, Maggie not in heaven (based on Hogarth’s Satan, Sin and Death and featuring cameos from Tony Blair and David Cameron):

Maggie Not In Heaven (after Satan, Sin and Death)

In Your Dreams (after Satan, Sin and Death), by Ben Moore

There’s Peter Kennard’s slightly more nuanced Maggie Regina, from 1983 – the year of Thatcher’s overwhelming post-Falklands election victory:

Maggie Regina, by Peter Kennard

Maggie Regina, by Peter Kennard

And Team Beswick and Pye’s rather bewildering Great Britain is Great Again, showing Thatcher outside Number 10, while inside Denis (we think) parties with an elephant:

Thatcher, by Team Beswick and Pye

Thatcher, by Team Beswick and Pye

Jonny Briggs, meanwhile, literally focuses on one of the key Thatcher images – with a pixelated close-up of her tearful eye as she left Downing Street for the last time as PM in 1990:

Margaret Thatcher, by Jonny Briggs

Margaret Thatcher, by Jonny Briggs

Curator and Art Below director Ben Moore says, ‘All the artists in the show have one thing in common, we all grew up as Thatcher’s children’.

The Iron Lady is open for 10 days from 17 April at Gallery Different, 14 Percy Street, London W1T. Selected works from the exhibition will also be exhibition in billboards on the London Underground following the show.

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