International Twitter debate #eroticcensorship leads to re-hang of ‘Portrait of Ms Ruby May, Standing’

Press release for immediate release: 9th July 2014


International Twitter debate #eroticcensorship leads to re-hang of ‘Portrait of Ms Ruby May, Standing’ 

Leena McCall is pleased to announce, a work of art that was removed from the Society of Women Artists’ 153rd annual exhibition at the Mall Galleries, is to be exhibited at The Leyden Gallery, London.

The painting “Ms Ruby May, Standing’ was selected by the Society for Women Artists (SWA) for their 153rd annual exhibition and subsequently removed by the Mall Gallery for being deemed ‘too pornographic and disgusting’.

The removal of Leena McCall’s erotic and feminine portrayal of Ms Ruby May, a clothed femme fatale, sparked a Twitter campaign asking people to debate #eroticcensorship, a conversation that has ignited an international response of support, concern and disagreement.  

McCall was approached by the Leyden Gallery and the painting is being made accessible to the public at the gallery from 11th July until 26th July.

Mc Call said:  “I'm glad my painting will be available for public viewing, after its removal from the Mall Galleries and I am grateful to the Leyden Gallery for showing it.  Women's sexual identity is clearly a topic that has sparked considerable discussion online and I am keen to work with the Leyden Gallery to give that discussion a forum for debate.”

Adriana Cerne, Leyden Gallery said:  “Leyden Gallery is a relatively new London Art Gallery who actively re-dress the negative imbalance of women in art exhibitions.   Sixteen out of twenty-four artists currently on show in their Summer Salon are women. With the eagerly awaited inclusion of Leena McCall’s painting this will now be seventeen. 

 “We look forward to the debates that will rightly follow in the wake of the decision to remove this painting on the grounds of it being 'pornographic' and 'disgusting'.”

London and Berlin based visual artist, Leena McCall is interested in exploring the female sense of erotic and how women choose to express their erotic identity.

 ‘Portrait of Ms Ruby May, Standing’ will be available to view along side other art works at The Leyden Gallery from Friday 11 -26 July.



LEYDEN GALLERY, 9/9a Leyden Street, London E1 7LE

Opening times:  

Tuesday:  11am - 7pm

Wednesday: 11am - 7pm

Thursday: 11am - 7pm

Friday:  11am - 7pm

Saturday: 11am - 7pm

Sunday Closed

Monday:  By appointment only 


Call for debate:

Why is it that the exploration of the female form and eroticism has to be censored?  To highlight female sexual identity and express the female sense of erotic should merely be a matter for discussion, not censorship?  In response to this inequitable act of suppression, McCall has asked supporters to join in the conversation on Twitter using hash-tag #eroticcensorship at @MsMccall  and on the Facebook page Facebook Leena McCall.

The ‘offending’ painting in question is still available to view on the SWA website here.


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Leena McCall represents herself. For further information, please contact or call 00 +44 7714 308 614 or Leena McCall via her website.

To see examples of McCall’s work go to:

Leyden Gallery