‘Unauthorised’ Repeal the Eighth slogan removed from Selfridges window

Irish designer Richard Malone staged pro-choice event after invite to create pop-up exhibition

An “unauthorised” Repeal the Eighth slogan was removed from Irish designer Richard Malone’s pop-up exhibition in the window of high-end London department store Selfridges.

The store said it was was “regrettable that a platform for celebrated creative talent was commandeered in this manner”.

Malone (26), from Co Wexford, was invited by designer and exhibition curator Gareth Pugh to take over a section of the flagship Oxford Street store.

In a joint statement with Pugh to The Irish Times, Selfridges said: "On Tuesday, 17th April 2018, Richard Malone was invited to present his personal definition of luxury, which for this young designer extended to an unfettered freedom of expression, and involved an undisclosed and unauthorised political statement. Selfridges is a politically neutral safe space for everyone, and it's regrettable that a platform for celebrated creative talent was commandeered in this manner."

Speaking to The Irish Times, Malone said he dedicated part of the one-day event to highlighting the Repeal the Eighth campaign in the upcoming abortion referendum. He said he had organised a number of speakers to read from Una Mullally's Repeal the 8th book, dancers and music.

Malone, who wore a “Read. Redact. Repeal” t-shirt at the event, said the slogans written on the window included “Repeal the Eighth” and “women’s rights are human rights”.

Malone said after the pro-choice slogan was removed the rest of the installation was allowed continue until midday on Wednesday.

“I am really happy that I had the support from the crowd and were it not for the support of Gareth Pugh and his partner, who curated the whole event, they would have cancelled the whole thing,” he said.

Selfridges said Malone’s exhibition was part of “the Anatomy of Luxury” campaign.

“Selfridges has invited a number of partners to curate its Corner Shop and identify what luxury means to them. This week London based designer Gareth Pugh took over the Corner Shop space to realise his creative vision of what luxury means to him. Key to Pugh’s vision is the celebration of emerging talent, and as part of his residency he has invited six radical young creatives that he admires and respects to showcase their unique visual language.”