“…I clinched it..!”


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About “…I clinched it..!”

This work pays homage to ‘The Clinches’ in my female linage: my Mum, my Nan and my Auntie.

As an artist and maker of jewellery, I’m curious about how I’ve inherited my vocabulary of making skills. My artistic practice centers on experimenting with techniques and processes in relation to making body related objects and methods such as problem-solving, understanding of material qualities and construction techniques are all utilized to create objects. Concepts and ideas are explored by this hands-on approach to design via making, which although highly skilled, at times is somewhat intuitive, by gut instinct and by trial and error.

Interviewing my mum, Susan Mary Iris Robertson, maiden name Clinch as part of this project I discovered how essential craft and particularly sewing is intertwined into how she lives her life. This included voluntary and unpaid work comprising of making clothes, costumes for school plays and now later in life patchwork for home furnishings. Making out of necessity featured strongly, in relation to the family’s modest income and the story of the ‘denim jacket’ resurrected memories for us both, as she described how she felt duty bound to provide fashionable clothing for her two teenage daughters and the only way to ‘keep up with the Jones’ was to produce the garment herself, of which I remember wearing. As an adult I also have fond recollections of sharing an afternoon sewing my own wedding bunting around the dining room table, with my Nan and Auntie and it’s a combination of these stories which have provided the catalyst for the creation of this work.

The inherited tacit and experiential knowledge that feeds my practice has been handed down to me during these ephemeral moments via observation and dialogue. Therefore this hybrid piece brings together these strands of conversation, whereby I tackle the process of following a pattern to produce a garment enabling me to reflect on the frustrations, struggles and sense of achievement that rub up against each other during construction. Alongside the repetition of production and process symbolised by the triangular repeatable elements, well known to bunting connoisseurs. This culminates in the feeling that ‘I clinched it’ revealing that making is a continuous thread which is woven into our family linage. The pure joy of making is strongly reflected within my practice and I do love making stuff!

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1 – 13 August 2016, 12 – 6pm daily
studio 307, AWOL studios / Hope Mill

a shrine to women’s work brings together works from eleven artists who have reflected upon matrilineal influences in their own working / playing lives. Such influences include the work / play of mothers, grandmothers and great-grandmothers and also the ‘grandmothers’ of each artist’s artform(s) – or artistic lineages. Each contributor has made something that incorporates selected aspects of this embodied and relational history.

a shrine to women’s work has been initiated and facilitated by Amy Voris as part of the Accumulations project. Many thanks to curator Sara Spies and to photographer Christian Kipp for their input.

For more information visit a shrine to women’s work

A shrine to womens work - awol studios -Amy Voris - Zoe Robertson




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:

  1. to develop a deeper understanding of female activists, artists and theorists who have influenced our creative practices
  2. To explore the lives and experiences of ordinary women and their contribution to the cultural landscape of Manchester
  3. To explore the personal significance of each of our own grandmothers, mothers and sisters to our lives
  4. To find methods of incorporating these findings and experiences into each of our creative practices

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:

  • Independent and group research using museum, library and gallery collections
  • Engaging with women’s groups in the city
  • The creation of four events (in each community organisation)
  • An evaluation day inviting everyone involved in the project

This information is from the Accumulations website