Back of the net: Uefa women’s football tournament scores with sporty art commissions


England’s lionesses roared to victory yesterday in the Uefa Women’s Euro 2022, beating Norway 8-0 to secure a place in the quarter finals of the football tournament. The much-anticipated soccer smorgasbord is happening in nine cities and at ten stadia across the host nation including Southampton, Sheffield and Rotherham (the final takes place 31 July at Wembley). Crucially, a summer arts season runs alongside the football, celebrating and exploring the rich, often overlooked history of the women’s game. The Supercompensation Cycle by the UK artist Emma Smith is a holographic installation accompanied by an immersive soundscape created by the musician YaYa Bones. In a canny move, Smith’s piece is inspired by historic footage of women players warming up for a game of footie; in a neat twist, she incorporates residents from across all of the host cities in the film installation, capturing their movements in the holographic work which is presented pre-match (Smith’s next interactive “warm-up” live art event takes place in Rotherham on 17 July).

Other art treats include Stadium for the Future (If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution), an audio work “created to inspire the building of a living football stadium imagined, engineered and hand built by and for women, a self-sustaining ecosystem of creating, training and playing to manifest a different world”, the organisers say. The piece, by the Idle Women collective, will be “danced into existence” at raves (get raving at Hounslow on 13 July and in Milton Keynes on 17 July). Meanwhile, exhibitions on view across museums and sites in the host cities focus on key local women players, highlighting their passion, skill and perseverance. The Uefa arts programme is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Arts Council England.


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