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  • Writer's pictureMadeleina Kay

The embarassing moment you realise 8 years of your creative practice have been archived on Alamy Stock without you realising...

Yesterday I was chatting to someone about the experience of being drawn for a portrait artwork - I wanted to send them some examples, specifically this incredible cartoon of me dressed in my EU supergirl costume "taming" the Brexiteer dogs (Jacob Rees-Mogg, Nigel Farage, Boris Johnson, Theresa May, David Dais and Arlene Foster) created by an artist, Barry McGowan which he made in 2018.

I couldn't remember the name of the artist who had made the cartoon, which I hadn't saved to my computer. I scavanged my social media and google trying to find the image which I eventually recovered - but in the process of searching for this artwork, I discovered an archive of photographs on Alamy Stock documenting my creative practice since 2016...

I was slightly embarassed to discover 11 pages of results when I typed my name into Alamy Stock - especially knowing that there will be many more photos which aren't name credited, ot which are listed on other platforms, such as Getty images (another blog post for those?). But then I guess my creative practice has always been about visibility and communication intended for public consumption. In some ways, it's nice to know that this record exists - maybe I will look back over it when I am an old lady with fondness rather than the twinge of self-consciousness I currently feel.

The main thing I noticed about these photos is the colourfulness and joy which they embody - which I think is something positive to cling to in the light of the political toxicity which has enveloped the UK in recent years. I have faced a lot of criticism, trolling and abuse during my years campaigning, yet somehow I maintained my spirit of enthusiasm, positivity and creativity - you may disapprove of my approach but you can't doubt my effort. At least I tried.

Photos in Roughly Chronological Order

Hugging Alba, clad in the Union Jack, 2017.

Marching in Manchester with Alba, 2017.

Singing with 'Faux Bo Jo' the Boris Johnson impersonator, and the 'Robo May' puppet, 2017.

NHS March, 2017.

Performing during the Is It Worth It? bus tour, 2018

One of my favourite ever photos of me and Alba, 2018.

Performance (in leopard print and chains à la Theresa May) at the protest in Manchester outside the Tory party conference, 2018.

The first EU Wonder Woman costume, after performing at a protest at Europe House, Smith Square in London, 2018.

With Alba at the first Wooferendum march, 2018.

EU supergirl costume outside Westminster, 2018.

Attending a "tea party" with Boris Johsnon's dad (Stanley Johnson) and Magid Magid for the last broadcast of the BBC Daily Politics show.

The Bollocks to Brexit warrior princess costume at a march in London, 2018.

Performing in police woman attire after the electoral commission determined Vote Leave had broken the law, at a protest in London, 2018.

Performing my song 'Stand Up for your Copyrights!' in support of the EU copyright directive at a music industry protest outside the Google headquarters in Kings Cross, featuring Dave Rowntree (Blur) and Crispin Hunt (Chair of The Ivors Academy Board) amongst others, 2018.

Performing at the second 'Wooferendum' march in London, 2018.

Chatting with a pro-Brexit, yellow-vest antisemite, Westminster, 2019.

Attending regular protests outside Westminster, 2019.

Angels and devils at a Valentines Day protest in Westminster, 2019.

The 2nd iteration of the EU wonder woman costume at a protest on my 25th birthday, London, 2019

I have no recollection of this photo being taken but I think it's outside an EU institution before the EU elections, in Brussels, 2019.

Taking a selfie after performing at a protest with the "Brexit unicorns" in Brussels, 2019.

Speaking and performing as the 'Queen of European Hearts' alongside my merry band of Brexit Wonderland characters at the 'March for Change' in London, 2019.

Performing outside Hollyrood at an Edinburgh for Europe rally, 2019.

Angel and Devil double-act, People's Vote march, London, 2019.

"Brexit Day" protest, 2020.

Speaking at the March for Rejoin I, London, 2022.

With Richard Corbett (former Labour MEP) and Gina Miller, March for Rejoin II, London 2023.

Speaking at the March for Rejoin II, London 2023.


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