Delighted to announce that my RE:Animate jewellery collection will be on show at the Beijing International Jewelry Art Exhibition from the 18-26 November 2017
Read more about it at future design
Delighted to announce that my RE:Animate jewellery collection will be on show at the Beijing International Jewelry Art Exhibition from the 18-26 November 2017
Read more about it at future design
Without A Jewel engages in the discussion of Contemporary Jewellery’s materiality. Contemporary Jewellery is a field of inquiry, not a medium, and although many contemporary jewellers make wearable jewels, some do not. Instead, they work on the edges of the field. They investigate qualities of jewellery: the presumption of wearability and value, its materiality and its context, through a variety of media including performance, installation, film and photography.
Without A Jewel will present four artists currently exploring the edges of jewellery: Renée Ugazio (Australia), Anneleen Swillen (Belgium), Paulina Rodete (Mexico) and Zoe Robertson (UK). Curated by Judith Torzillo and Victoria Cleland, Without A Jewel offers the chance to discuss boundary-crossing practice at a time of flux in the Contemporary Jewellery field.
Without A Jewel
About the Artists
Award winning jewellery artist Zoe Robertson’s studio practice explores themes relating to jewellery within performance. She creates theatrically sized jewellery, experiments on the edges of the discipline and enjoys working collaboratively. She is co-founder of The Dual Works an artist studio based in Birmingham, UK and her work is exhibited within an international arena The interdisciplinary and collaborative nature of her works moves beyond jewellery and into the fields of performance, sound, and dance. As seen in her latest solo exhibition flockOmania this cross-disciplinary approach enables her to create experiential and immersive environments, which invite audience interaction and participation.
Dr Renée Ugazio repositions jewellery practice – redefining it as a set of actions and traces freed from their expected sites associated with object production. In doing this jewellery practice is mobilised and reimagined amid the world to explore temporality, experience and material engagement. Her research exposes how the attentive sensibility of a jeweller can surface in the production of artworks. She explores how this has the potential to draw attention to materiality, and our awareness of being in time and place. Dr Ugazio lectures at RMIT University where she received her PhD in 2017. She exhibits widely both nationally and internationally.
Anneleen Swillen (Be, °1992) lives and works in Ghent and Hasselt. She holds a master’s degree in Object and Jewellery design and a postgraduate in Curatorial Studies. Swillen’s research takes presentation as a starting point for content rather than accepting the premise that content must precede presentation. She is currently a PhD student at Hasselt University and PXL-MAD, researching the expressive potential of presentation within contemporary art jewellery practice.
Paulina Rodete is a designer of contemporary jewellery and an artist who lives and works in Mexico and is currently undertaking research for her Masters of Visual Art in Germany. Rodete is interested in the search for new meanings in objects through diverse everyday practices in various disciplines including happenings, performances, video, dance and installation. Her practice concentrates on the transformation of petrified matter & objects and ‘the extension of space in the relationship between body and jewellery’. Her sculptures and contemporary jewellery pieces have been exhibited in México, United States and Germany.
Victoria Cleland is an emerging contemporary jeweller and curator from Sydney, Australia. She completed Honours (First Class) in Jewellery and Object Design at Sydney College of the Arts and participated in the 2015 JMGA conference, EdgesBordersGaps. Victoria’s jewellery practice investigates notions of value and image. She completed an internship with gallery Studio 20/17 which involved critical writing, exhibition preparation and installation. Following her internship she exhibited LUXIE, her first solo project. Victoria co-curated Young Collectors with fellow Honours candidate, Judith Torzillo, presenting collections of contemporary jewellery owned by Australians in their twenties and exploring connections between them.
Judith Torzillo is an emerging curator and artist raised in Sydney and currently based in The Netherlands. She is interested in opening conversations, engaging in the activation of unlikely spaces and supporting new connections in the field of contemporary jewellery. Her artistic practice focuses on the epic and allegorical potential of matter in the everyday. Torzillo graduated with Honours (Class I) in Fine Arts from the University of Sydney in 2015. Her curatorial work includes Valuable Remains (Archive_ Space, Sydney) and Young Collectors (SCA Foyer Gallery, Sydney).
Sat 17 Jun – Sun 3 Sep | Opening times as per building | Free admission | Arena Gallery
Futuremakers is an exhibition and participatory programme over the summer of 2017. Three makers-in-residence will occupy the Arena Gallery for six weeks working with school groups, public programmes to play, make, build a number of pavilions in Cannon Hill Park.
Exhibition opens Saturday 17th June
– Zoe Robertson/The Dual Works, 10-21 July
– Simon & Tom Bloor, 24 July-4 August
– Birmingham Co.LAB, 7-18 August
– The Big Review, the project’s closing event, will be on Wednesday 30th August. Hosted and coordinated by Emily Warner.
Futuremakers is a summer-long programme which aims to inspire the designers and makers of the future through acts of playing, making and building.
The project brings together three makers-in residence, Simon & Tom Bloor, Zoe Robertson and Birmingham Co.LAB, with the wider public to design and build a number of ‘pavilions’. The makers will inspire and help support the creation and construction of pavilions using the architecture of mac and the landscape of Cannon Hill Park as an inspiration point.
Resident makers will work in purpose-built open studios in the gallery to work collaboratively with the public and local groups. Participants will be invited to explore materials, play and have fun, while helping to create a new structure, supported by our experienced makers.
An exhibition of historical and contemporary examples of designing through play accompanies the residency programme with works from established architects and artists including: Riccardo Dalisi, Renata Bandeira, Studio Weave, We Made That, Huw Wahl, Action Mobile Space, Kate Darby Architects, TakTal Test Unit, Little Architect, Catalytic Action, Kosuge1-16 and many more.
There are lots of opportunities to take part in Futuremakers. If you are interested in coming along to play and create with our makers, please come visit the gallery space and see how it transforms over the summer. The makers will be on site between 10th July to 18th August.
Curated and organised by Co.LAB in collaboration with Trevor Pitt. Support from Birmingham School of Architecture and Design, Birmingham City University. With additional support by Hawkins/Brown Architects.
The World is Your Dressing Up Box at The National Centre for Craft & Design (NCCD)
22 Jul – 8 Oct 2017
This summer the National Centre for Craft & Design celebrates the flamboyance of fashion, costume design and accessories with a new exhibition, The World is Your Dressing Up Box (22 Jul – 8 Oct 2017).
The exhibition will transform the gallery into a giant emporium of wonder and opulence, presenting well known pieces made for celebrities and the work of leaders in the world of fashion and costume design. Alongside them are trailblazing graduates, milliners, footwear designers and jewellers. Displayed together, this collection presents the ultimate ‘must-have’ pieces for everyone’s dressing up box. The chance to model favourite items highlights technique and materials and brings craftsmanship, quality and originality to life.
Show highlights include the headpiece worn by Lady Gaga designed by Shilpa Chavan AKA ‘Little Shilpa’, in collaboration with Disney. One of only a handful of milliners in India, London College of Fashion graduate and previous intern to Philip Treacy, the artist has a distinct style influenced by travel and multiculturalism.
Staying with Lady Gaga, we also present some of her shoe designers, Kobi Levi and Kermit Tesoro. Levi’s ‘Double Boot’ was used in the ‘Born this Way’ music video whilst Tesoro is also known for his headline grabbing heel-less shoes and towering wedge boots for French-born designer, Florian Jayet, an intern for the late Alexander McQueen.
We take our hats off to London based Bundle MacLaren who shot to fame in 2011 after designing a dozen hats for the Royal Wedding and are lucky to have examples from world renowned milliner, Stephen Jones. For anyone with a sweet tooth, Shoe Bakery will definitely tempt your sweet side, bringing style and whimsy to the world of women’s shoes with unique cupcake, ice cream and cinnamon bun designs.
No show of this nature would be complete without iconic design examples – the towering Union Jack boots worn by Spice Girl, Geri Halliwell and the continuing impact of innovators like Björk, presented through the work of fashion designer and collaborator with the musician, Marlou Breuls.
We continue our ongoing relationship with artist Grace Du Prez and welcome Vogue featured H E I D I L E E – also using 3D Printing technology. Made in the Middle jeweller, Dauvit Alexander, will show more iron ore and steel pieces inspired by when men more freely wore elaborate and beautiful jewellery.
Primarily about letting the imagination fly, celebrating individualism and self-expression the show also considers environmental and ethical questions and the issues of authenticity and style.
For more information please visit National Centre for Craft & Design
FLUX – The Symposium
10th June 2017 5pm-9pm
In response to the challenges that artists, curators, and galleries face today, Room7 are excited to present an evening of talks and discussions on the contemporary arts of the West Midlands. During the symposium we will examine wider topics such as the relevance of contemporary art in society,
and a consideration of the status of contemporary art and artists post ‘Brexit.’
The programme includes talks by Director of New Art West Midlands Craig Ashley and Kim McAleese, Programme Director at Grand Union, a practice workshop where the audience are encouraged to respond to the artworks on display, and a roundtable conversation with the four artists featured in the show, FLUX, James Lomax, Zoe Robertson, Intervention Architecture, and Mark Houghton.
Tea, coffee and a glass of wine is included in the entrance fee, light refreshments will also be available
Tickets £5/, £3 concessions.
Tickets must be pre-booked as numbers are limited.
Tickets can be ordered via ‘Eventbrite,’
There may be limited tickets available on the day, please contact email@example.com with any enquiries.
Room7 Symposium Programme:
5:00pm – Welcome
5:15pm – Drawing workshop in Gallery
5:50pm – Coffee Break
6:00pm – ‘The Contemporary Art Scene Post Brexit’ – a conversation with Cheryl Jones (Grand Union) and Craig Ashley (New Art West Midlands)
6:45pm – Break
7:15pm – Exhibition Tour, led by curators and artists
7:30pm – Artist in Conversation: An open-panel with Intervention Architecture, James Lomax, Mark Houghton, and Zoe Robertson.
8:00pm – Drinks
9:00pm – Close
Culture, Costume and Dress Conference
10 -12th May 2017
Objects and images from flockOmania were shown in the Cabinets of Costume exhibition at Parkside Gallery and a live improvised performance intervention titled ‘Conversation on wearing: practice at play’ took place as part of the opening and private view of Cabinets of Costume on Wednesday 10th May between 5:30 – 7:30pm
About CCD 2017
Dress in all its manifestations, whether clothing, jewellery or other accessories, is a fundamental aspect of culture, and one that culture references. This multi-disciplinary, international conference will explore the nature of dress as it relates to, responds to, and influences culture.
Clothing reflects the customs and concerns of society, and often reveals its underlying motivation. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the world of fashion, which almost unknowingly expresses the zeitgeist of its time. The perspective of history allows us to discern more clearly the power of dress to shape lives and influence society. Politically, clothing has been used to control certain groups; socially, clothing has provided status to individuals; and psychologically, dress both defines us and contributes to our sense of self.
This significance has been effectively exploited by the arts, particularly the visual arts, where costume is often used to convey particular themes, as for example, the costume adopted in royal portraits. In literature too, dress can provide insights into character and personality; and in the theatre, costume creates a persona for the audience and the actor who inhabits it.
Through presentations, posters, panel discussions and performance, the conference will consider the many aspects of costume and dress, exploring their inter-connections and reflecting on their significance. It will include an exhibition of costume and other artefacts that articulate the conference themes.
For more information please visit ccd2017.org/
ROOM7 PRESENTS THEIR FIRST EXHIBITION IN COLLABORATION WITH GRAND UNION AND CENTRALA ART GALLERIES, OPENING FRIDAY 2 JUNE
Newly formed collective of curators ROOM7 presents ‘FLUX’, an exhibition of contemporary art in collaboration with Grand Union and Centrala Art Galleries. The collective is made up of 7 curators from different backgrounds brought together by their studies at the University of Birmingham.
The exhibition is formed by the work of four carefully selected artists based in the West Midlands; Mark Houghton, James Lomax, Anna Parker and Zoe Robertson.
All of the artists have made new artwork for the show, responding to the gallery space and its architecture.
Mark Houghton is exhibiting new artworks of monumental size, as well as existing works which combine sculpture and painting in reaction to the space of the gallery.
Artist James Lomax has created ‘site-reactive’ sculptures which extend from floor to ceiling, in reaction to the architecture and the history of the gallery space.
‘Intervention Architecture’ has created an installation space that can be entered by visitors. It will be blacked-out, and they invite the viewer to experience and explore various domestic objects through touch.
Jeweller Zoe Robertson has created a piece of work that can be touched, worn and interacted with. For the opening night she has invited two dance artists, Natalie Garrett Brown and Polly Hudson, and Sellotape Cinema (Stephen Snell and Steven Chamberlain) to deliver an improvised, site-specific and collaborative performance with the artworks.
The exhibition will launch on Digbeth First Friday, a micro art festival in Digbeth, on Friday 2 June at 6pm.
Opening night performance by Zoe Robertson: 2 June 2016
Friday 2 June to 10 June 2017
Centrala Art Gallery: Art Loft
Unit 4 Minerva Works
158 Fazeley Street
B5 5RT Birmingham
ROOM7 is a curatorial collective; 7 curators from different backgrounds brought together by their studies at the University of Birmingham. With a focus on multidisciplinary practices, they work to explore the limits of the gallery space, and the boundaries between different art disciplines. They promote and support artists in the production of new work, as they develop their practice. www.room7curating.wixsite.com
For more information please visit
2020 Visions: Celebrating twenty years of the ACJ
Celebrating twenty years of the Association for Contemporary Jewellery (ACJ), 20:20 Visions shows the best of contemporary jewellery and conveys progression in design and techniques over the last twenty years.
To mark the anniversary, ACJ has invited twenty of its most prominent and innovative members to exhibit work from 1997 alongside a new piece. The exhibition also features a number of works from members selected by a panel of advisors. ACJ currently has 500 members so this exhibition promises much in terms of range of materials, new technologies, techniques and methods of construction.
The Selection Panel: Kath Libbert, John Moore, Peter Taylor & Rebecca van Rooijen.
The Goldsmiths’ Company have generously sponsored this exhibition tour and ACJ’s Conference in July
Jane Adam, Holly Belsher, Stephen Bottomley, Caroline Broadhead, Norman Cherry Susan Cross, Jack Cunningham, Joel Degen, Maria Hanson, Janet Hinchliffe McCutcheon, Dorothy Hogg, Terry Hunt, Daphne Krinos, Jacqueline Mina, Adam Paxon, David Poston Ann Marie Shillito, Jessica Turrell, Frances Julie Whitelaw, Christop Zellweger.
Dauvit Alexander, Kate Bajic, Hendrike Barz-Meltzer, Jessica Briggs, Toby Cotterill, Karen Dell’Armi, Amanda Denison, Gail Ferriman, Gill Forsbrook, Irmgard Frauscher, Anne Havel (USA), Joanne Haywood, Susi Hines, Courtney Hyland, Christine Johnson, Stephanie Johnson, Emily Kidson, Loveness Lee, Katy Luxton, Fritz Maierhofer (Austria), Lieta Marziali, Jo McAllister, Annamaria Mikulik (Slovakia), Jane Moore, Jo Pudelko, Zoe Robertson, Louise Seijen ten Hoorn, Elizabeth Shaw (Australia), Rebecca Skeels, Anne Walker, Anastasia Young.
flockOmania was invited to present a performance intervention titled “Conversations on Wearing: A trio of object, movement and words” ‘a mobile intervention’ (with Zoe Robertson, Natalie Garrett Brown, Amy Voris and Christian Kipp) at InDialogue a two day biennial International Symposium that interrogates how artists and researchers use dialogue in practice. The symposium took place on Thursday 1 and Friday 2 December and was hosted by Nottingham Contemporary, New Art Exchange and Dance4.
Keynote: Professor Grant Kester (University of California)
Chair: Professor Steve Swindells (University of Huddersfield)
Curators: Heather Connelly and Rhiannon Jones
Guest Speakers: Dom Breadmore, Elena Cologni , Luigi Galimberti, Saskia Holmkvist, Boseda Olawoye, Helen Varley Jamieson, Rachelle Viader Knowles and Katherine Wimpenny.
Performers: Sally Doughty, Rachel Krische and Lisa Kendall, Vida Midgelow and Jane Bacon, Michael Pinchbeck and work in progress by Chloé Déchery and Jane McKernan 2016 InDialogue resident artists.
Presenters: Rachael Colley and Nuala Clooney, Linda Duvall, Tom Estes, Sarah Green, John Hammersley, Frank Heather, Caroline Horton and Jacqueline Taylor, Daniel Hunt, Petra Johnson, Garrett Lynch, matthews and allen, Francesco Mazzarella and Gavin Rogers, Ella McCartney, Sam Metz and Abigail Parsons, Tychonas Michailidis, Jake Moore and Jade Williams, Sally Morfill and Ana Čavić, Katarina Rankovic, Zoe Robertson, Natalie Garrett Brown and Amy Voris, Suzanne Palzer, Zoë Petersen, Gaby Saldanha, Dan Scott, Joanna Sperryn-Jones, Steven Baldwin and Craig Newsome, Dani Tagen, Arlene Tucker and Anastasia Artemeva, and Gemma-Rose Turnbull
Thursday Dec 1st ticket£20
Friday Dec 2nd ticket £20
New Art Exchange
InDialogue Performance Evening
In partnership with Dance4, InDialogue has invited artists who are making creative and challenging live works in the UK and internationally to present their work.
The performance evening will celebrate what it means to be in dialogue, considering diverse approaches to practice.
Artists include Sally Doughty, Rachel Krische and Lisa Kendall, Caroline Horton and Jacqueline Taylor, Vida Midgelow and Jane Bacon, Michael Pinchbeck and work in progress by the 2016 InDialogue resident artists.
Tickets: £10 (full) £8 (concessions)
Duration: 3 hrs (approx.)
Suitable for 16+
Tickets for performance evening only are available from Dance4.
Fashion and Costume in Context and Practice Symposium and Exhibition hosted by Huddersfield University
Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th December 2016
flockOmania with Zoe Robertson, Natalie Garrett Brown, Amy Voris and Christian Kipp
flockOmania2 – ISBN:978-1-904839-84-2
Delighted to announce that my flockOmania catalogues are now available to purchase from Chrome Yellow Books. Chrome Yellow Books are specialists in contemporary European art and craft publications. They regularly hold bookstands at colleges and universities by appointment and participate in special events across Europe including Collect, New Designers and AFEDAP
flockOmania – ISBN:978-1-904839-78-1
Made in the Middle
Contemporary Craft from the Midlands. A Craftspace touring exhibition 2016-2018
Featuring both recent graduates and makers with established reputations, there is a wealth of creativity on display, including ceramics, jewellery, metalwork and textiles. Selected by an expert panel through open entry, it promotes the best of contemporary craft from makers living and working in the Midlands or with a strong recent regional connection. 28 makers have been selected by a panel of curators and craft sector specialists. The makers offer an insight into the skill, creativity and innovative practice within the region.
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum: 2 December 2016 – 19 February 2017
Launch event: Thursday 1 December, 6.30- 8.30pm
Parkside Gallery, Birmingham City University: 6 March – 29 April 2017
The National Centre for Craft & Design: 13 May – 8 July 2017
Rugby Art Gallery & Museum: 10 Feb – 7 April 2018
The Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Jordan Well, Coventry CV1 5QP. Monday – Saturday: 10.00am – 4.00 Sunday: 12.00pm – 4.00pm
image by MARKmagazine.tv Photographer Justin Ridler
I’m delighted that my Subscribe series is on show at Victoria Sewart Contemporary Jewellery Gallery and i
Celebrating the director’s Victoria Sewart’s educational routes in contemporary jewellery ‘in the loupe’ brings together a vibrant collection of work created by artists, educators, researchers, and practitioners from The School of Jewellery, Birmingham City University and Plymouth College of Art and Design.
This eclectic mix of work on show spans the breadth of the jewellery discipline from commercial to contemporary, to handcrafted and digital technologies. These talented jewellers like to experiment with a variety of concepts, materials and processes and this exhibition showcases the diversity of this subject area. They are united by their curiosity for experimentation which builds knowledge and expertise within a particular specialism. It’s this variety of individual directions which underpin the educational experience for students at both institutions which ultimately drives the field forward and feeds the innovation seen in our gallery today.
Each jeweller has an established their own unique voice and the eclectic mix of work on show ranges from hyper decorative excessive ornamentation of intricate details, to bold vibrant and colourful forms. Concepts that transform thoughts and feelings, to jewellery that shocks, jewellery that is interactive and invites playful encounter, to those experimenting with material alchemy, reinventing materials and exploring cutting edge digital technologies. All of which gives you a glimpse at what’s ‘in the loupe’
Exhibitors are Claire Price, Jo Pond, Anna Lorenz, Bridie Lander, Toni Mayner, Sally Collins, Dauvit Alexander, Rachael Colley, Andrew Howard, Sian Hindle, Beaulagh Brooks, Kate Thorley, Zoe Robertson, Maria Whetman, Fern Robinson, Sybella Buttress
In the loupe is on show at
Victoria Sewart Contemporary Jewellery Gallery & School,39 Southside Street, The Barbican, Plymouth PL1 2LE
In the loupe then travels to the School of Jewellery in November 2016
Private view Saturday 24th September 6-8pm On until 23rd October 2016
Delighted to be performing as part of ‘ply’ at Precarious Assembly an evening of performance and installation throughout the Whitworth Gallery 6- 9pm , Thursday 4th August 2016
For more information visit Accumulations
I feel rather privileged to be invited to exhibit 2 pieces of work from my current collection flockOmania as an Alumni of Sir John Cass in a forthcoming exhibition titled ‘The Cass: Hands on’ at The Aram Gallery during August 2016
Nicknamed the ‘Aldgate Bauhaus’, The Cass (The Sir John Cass Faculty of Art, Architecture and Design, London Metropolitan University) has been part of the creative landscape of east London for over 100 years. As the faculty prepares to leave Aldgate and relocate to the University’s new Islington campus, The Aram Gallery hosts an exhibition celebrating its successes and enduring legacy.
As part of the gallery’s ongoing interest in process, The Cass: Hands On will show new and experimental design at the roots, using this versatile school and its history as the focus.
Work by a range of students, alumni and staff will represent the wide variety of courses on offer, including jewellery, silversmithing, furniture upholstery, and musical-instrument making. Alongside finished products, the exhibition will also reflect the Cass’s dedication to making within its teaching philosophy. A display of hand tools and a wall of experimental ceramic studies will give a taste of the school’s workshop atmosphere.
The exhibition also anticipates the future of the Cass, with its latest generation of graduating designers included in the mix.
When + Where
4th August – 3rd September 2016
The Aram Gallery
110 Drury Lane, Covent Garden, London, WC2B 5SG, UK
+44 (0207 557 7526)
For more information please visit The Aram Gallery
About – The Aram Gallery
The Aram Gallery is an independently curated space that encourages and promotes understanding of contemporary design.
The gallery was established in 2002 by founding curator Daniel Charny and Director Zeev Aram. Since then it has built up a strong presence and achieves increasing international attention. Until 2015, the gallery was curated by Héloïse Parke.The main objective of the gallery is to provide a space where people can discover new ideas and be inspired. “The doors are open and we welcome everybody who is interested in design to come and have a look.” Zeev Aram, Gallery Director.
The Aram Gallery is one of the leading contemporary design galleries in London, and sits on the third floor of Aram Store in Covent Garden.
I’m delighted to announce i have been invited to create a new piece of work for ‘a shrine to women’s work’ as part of the Accumulations research and development project showing at the Awol studio 1 – 13th August 2016
The information below is from the Accumulations website
Accumulations is a research and development project led by four North West based artists: Dani Abulhawa, Hannah Buckley, Sarah Spies and Amy Voris. Our overall aims are as follows:
In order to explore these aims, we have identified four broad themes that relate directly to each of our respective artistic practices – these are, ‘gendered spaces’, ‘women’s work’, ‘archival practices’ and ‘intergenerational exchange’. We have been working to set up links with several community organisations that connect with these four themes, including the The Whitworth Art Gallery, The Pankhurst Centre, The Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir and The Working Class Movement Library.
Over the course of a year we plan to engage in activities that will allow us to explore the above aims and themes, this will include the following main activities:
This information is from the Accumulations website
a shrine to women’s work
Amy Voris writes;
My part in the Accumulations project revolves around the subject of women’s work.
There are several strands to my research:
1 Contemplating the everyday working / playing lives of my own and others’ great-grandmothers, grandmothers and mother
2 Contextualizing my own creative work / play in light of the work of my artistic / vocational great-grandmothers, grandmothers and mothers
3 Researching into the history of women’s work in general and in Manchester in particular
The subject of women’s work arose out of my lifelong awareness of how my life (and work) contrasts and is in conversation with the lives (and work) of my deceased grandmothers: Violet ‘Sini Wuokku’ [Kahila] Prah, Kathleen Charlotte ‘Kay’ [Clodfelter] Voris, Great Aunty Maxine ‘Max’ [Clodfelter] Callender and adopted grandma Elizabeth ‘May’ [Morley] Poulton.
As well as working as mothers and housekeepers, both of my familial grandmothers worked as secretaries. They administered the working lives of men while also taking care of children and housework. Although I think they enjoyed some aspects of their working lives, they both harbored dreams of having an alternative life as a single, ‘career woman’ and looked on the privileges of my life (with access to education, vocational choice and travel) with encouragement and with a certain amount of envy. They both were excellent typists and wrote letters and then emails to me late into their lives.
I am awe struck by the privileges of my life in comparison with my grandmothers’ lives – most particularly in relation to the work I am able to choose to do. As I move toward middle age, I feel my grandmothers’ presence intensify in my life. I have imaginary conversations with them, sometimes asking for advice, sometimes listening to their tough and awkward questions and sometimes just sharing a moment of appreciation for something beautiful or difficult. In my body I am holding a tension between past and present. I believe that this tension is a major resource for the dances that I make.
As part of this research and development phase of Accumulations, I am going to have conversations with friends and collaborators about their own working lives with particular attention to the working lives of their familial and vocational mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers. These folks will then be invited to make a contribution to a shrine to women’s work. The idea is that this contribution (somehow) takes its inspiration from this lineage of women’s work while also (somehow) being engaged one’s own current work or creative interests. I imagine each person’s contribution will be quite different in terms of its content and mode of presentation. In late July 2016, this shrine will be assembled at a studio space in Hope Mill – itself a site where women laboured in the textile industry in the 19th Century. The shrine will be open to the public between 1 – 13 August.
For more information visit a shrineto womens work
This exhibition is on
1 – 13 August 2016 at Studio 307
AWOL studios creative space and gallery
Hope Mill, 113 Pollard Street, Ancoats, Manchester M4 7JA
Visit AWOL for more information