CAROLINE UNDERWOOD  Shards

 

 

 

 

What is Urban?

 

Urban is … ART

 

35 Artists from South London Women Artists Collaborative

 

Brixton East Gallery

100 Barrington Rd

London SW9 7JF

 

26 February-11 March 2015 11am-5pm

 

Private View

Thursday 26th February 6:30-9pm

 

Curated by

Kate Bowe, Liz Charsley-Jory, Reema Dreaming, Pat Keay

 

 

South London Women Artists are pleased to announce an upcoming group exhibition at Brixton East Gallery, whose location, planted in the middle of 2 roads with a train line rumbling overhead, inspired the theme Urban.

 

Members from our collective were asked to consider the question What Is Urban?  (much as Grayson Perry recently asked Who Am I?) They have responded with short bursts of poetry and an array of visual and aural works.

 

 

What Is Urban?

 

…skyglow at night

 …light and life and music spilling out from bars into streets

 …crowds

 …traffic congestion

 

…views from bus windows

 

…anonymity

 

…concrete

 

…weeds in cracks of buildings and pavements

 

…an overworked and overused landscape that bears the scars of centuries of human passage

 

 

 

 Image courtesy Caroline Underwood

Thursday 20 November 2014, Conway Hall

Conway Hall SLWA Final - iDJ Photography 19

This Symposium coincided with South London Women Artists Collaborative residency and site-specific exhibition at Conway Hall - Finders keepers losers weepers (4 November 2014 to 28 February 2015), an exhibition that is prompted by the creative and independent thought and free speech behind the Conway Hall Ethical Society, 1787 to date. Finders Keepers Losers Weepers is a school-ground chant and is an English adage with the premise that when something is unowned or abandoned, whoever finds it can claim it. Taking the artwork as a starting point, the panel of 4 prominent female experts in the fields of art, philosophy and science explored the broader issues of mind, memory, possession and loss.

 

The Politics of Visibility, Gender & Identity

panel 2 640x425Women occupying space and being visible along with humour – subversive or otherwise - were recurring themes during this outstanding symposium. The Chair of South London Women Artists Collaborative, Melissa Budasz, reminded us that the original Greek symposium was a forum for men of good family to debate, plot, and boast or simply to revel with others. The evening contributed to women occupying that space.

The event opened with a strong performance Mistakes Women Make by Leonie Cronin, who staggered to the front of the hall dragging ‘stuff’. Using empty eggshells as a powerful metaphor she smashed them one by one and each time we heard a smash she recalled the behaviours women adopt in the boardroom that make them ineffective e.g. smiling too much, flicking hair. Even though the audience were clearly amused by the ridiculousness of the statements, her deadpan delivery was genius. The audience was gripped.

 

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This performance was followed by the writer and photographer Joan Byrne (St Joan of Peckham). The gentle delivery of her poetry belied its subversive humour in poems like I slept with Raymond Chandler and Puff Daddy and the Peckham Pigeon. Hilary Mantel described one of Joan’s short stories as “an intriguing glimpse of lives colliding” and this did seem to describe her poetry too and the way she archived her findings through poetry.

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Melissa Budasz introduced the Chair of the symposium, Rebecca Fortnum, who is Professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University. An academic and artist, probably best known for her book Contemporary Women Artists, in Their Own Words, Rebecca Fortnum spoke about SLWAC, the residency, the crits that supported the development of ideas and the successful schools workshops. She commented on how SLWAC is a group of artists who put women’s experience at the heart of their art making, resisting, challenging and interrogating the ideas of what is valid. She also described the group as inclusive and the work in the exhibition rooted in women’s experience. 

 

Margaret Carlyle who is a postdoctoral fellow in the department of History and Philosophy of Science at the University of Cambridge was the first speaker. She explored the gendering of science and authorship and talked about her own research of how the human condition was archived and studied through collections of skeletons in the eighteenth century. She focussed on the anatomical research by the scientist Madam Thiroux d’Arconville and her hidden role in this history. 

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Although her research was significant Margaret Carlyle described how Madam Thiroux d’Arconville chose to publish her edition anonymously, for which she had also overseen the artists who drew and engraved the skeleton illustrations, under a male protector's name, knowing that as a female author in the medical sciences her work would not otherwise be taken seriously.

 

The second speaker was Professor Tina Chanter, Head of School, Humanities, in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences at Kingston University. Her current research focuses on questions of aesthetics and politics and the need to reflect on how to theorise gender in a manner that explores its intrinsic and complex relationship to other categories such as race, class and sexuality. Whilst her work retains a disciplinary basis in philosophy, it has become increasingly interdisciplinary.

Tina Chanter talked about how “perceptions acquire a rigidity that comes to light only when they break into pieces, only when they shatter”. She talked about how artists make visible new patterns of knowledge with new possibilities of seeing the world. How feminist art shifts known frameworks and reframes our perceptions and whilst the boundaries of art and politics may blur, maintaining tensions between the two is crucial. Her work references Rancière’s notion of ‘equality of intelligence’. To illustrate this she used images such as Kevin Carters’ 1994 Pulitzer Prize winning photograph of a starving child in the Sudan being closely watched by a Vulture. This Iconic image certainly performed a political function and this moment caught on camera and the public’s response to the photograph had such a profound effect on Carter that three months later he took his life.

Conway Hall SLWA Final - iDJ Photography 32

Sophie Ristelhueber’s photographs, one of which displays a large deep scar on the back of a woman, and Ingrid Mwangi/Hutter’s installation of large photographs, which include feet hanging just above the dark earth, confront us with the human form in arresting ways. Confronting us with enlargements of parts of the human form, we see the scarred back, the heavy feet. These are not the feet of someone that has jumped up from the earth but the feet of someone who has been hung. These works accomplish Rancière’s redistribution of the sensible.

 

The artist, Jessica Voorsanger, Senior Lecturer Sculpture, School of Fine Art, UCA, was the third speaker. She works in a variety of media ranging from painting, sculpture, installation, mail art, film and performance. Voorsanger delighted the audience with a presentation of her artistic practise which challenges the relationship between audience and artist and examines obsession and celebrity culture in her practice and research. By impersonating and disguising as celebrated pop icons she scrutinises mass communication, popular culture and identity. 

Jessica 640x425

Recent work explores a more personal narrative, using subversive humour which contemplates nostalgia, memory and trauma. Her rapport with the audience was in evidence when she described being dressed up as David Hockney at an opening at the Hayward Gallery and actually bumping into David Hockney. But despite the humour and apparently shallow subject matter her work also has a strong political content. Her latest body of work, the Bald Series, is a stunning group of life-size portraits of herself as bald men. Faced with losing her hair following radiotherapy after a mastectomy in 2012, Jessica is Telly Savalas (Kojak), Alfred Hitchcock, Picasso. Amusing as these are, they carry the full weight of somebody who has had their identity compromised. Asked by a member of the audience who she was going to be next now that her hair has grown back curly she replied an Umpa Loompa. Mind, memory, possession and loss were explored with biting humour and biting candour. Again the audience was gripped. This was a very strong place to finish.

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In each speaker’s enthusiasm to communicate and share their knowledge and ideas, each overran the allotted times. There was only a few precious minutes to throw open the discussion to the audience. A full day symposium is needed to contribute fully to the contemporary discourse around the issues raised by these prominent speakers. Then as the boundaries of the different subjects dissolve, the tensions between the different disciplines could be explored more fully. 

 

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Written by:

Moira Jarvis, Researcher in Arts Education & Jackie Brown, Education Director- SLWAC

December 2014

 

Special thanks:

Speakers & Performers

Professor Rebecca Fortnum, Dr Margaret Carlyle, Professor Tina Chanter, Jessica Voorsanger

Joan Byrne & Leonie Cronin

Conway Hall & the Technical Team

Dr Jim Walsh - Chief Executive Officer, Conway Hall

Martha Lee - Visual Arts Programmer, Conway Hall

Zia Hameed - Technician, Conway Hall

Carolyn Davies, Lime Twist Media - Video Recordist

Ray Grant - Audio & Visual Technician

Darren Johnson - iDJ Photography

Emmie Jenkins - Transcription of Symposium

 

SLWAC

Jackie Brown, Melissa Budasz, Moira Jarvis, Laura Moreton-Griffiths, Chrissy Thirlaway

Kate Bowe, Liz Charsley-Jory, Reema Dreaming, Gin Dunscombe, Chantal Gillingham, Christine Landreth, Jennie Merrell, Lucy Soni, Eithne Twomey, Caroline Underwood

and to Megan Cronin, Tulia Cronin & Evie Anderson

With special thanks to the Arts Council England for their generous grant and to the Skinners' Company Lady Neville Charity, awarding small grants to local grass roots organisations.

A SLWAC publication on the Finders Keepers Losers Weepers site specific residency and symposium at Conway Hall will be published in 2015.

 

 

 


PRESS RELEASE

A3 Poster Symposium 2 

Private View back 2

 

SLWAC INVITATION

Art School with times 2

 

 

 

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SLWA SYMPOSIUM

Thursday 20 November 2014 7-9pm
Doors open 6.45pm


CONWAY HALL
Red Lion Square Holborn WC1R 4RL

Ticketed FREE EVENT to book click Eventbrite

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Chaired by

Professor Rebecca Fortnum Middlesex University

 

Speakers

Margaret Carlyle Cambridge University

Professor Tina Chanter Kingston University

Jessica Voorsanger UCA University of the Creative Arts 

 

A chaired panel of 3 speakers will expand and explore abstract notions around being, knowing, identity, time and space, giving a major contribution on the contemporary discourse of these enduring questions. The evening will also include poetry and performances by SLWA artists Joan Byrne and Léonie Cronin followed by a drinks reception.

 

RF

Rebecca Fortnum is an artist, writer, and a scholar. She has conducted academic research and written extensively about artistic practice, especially the practice of contemporary women artists. Her visual art practices include painting, drawing, printmaking, and curating. She was a Reader in Fine Art at the CCW, University of the Arts, London and is currently Professor of Fine Art at Middlesex University.  She will edit the peer-reviewed Journal of Contemporary Painting published by Intellect from 2014.  Publications include Contemporary British Women Artists, In Their Own Words  and On Not Knowing, How Artists Think which she co-edited with Lizzie Fisher. 

 

Skeleton-Female

Skeletons on the closet of medical science
presentation by Margaret Carlyle

Human skeletons achieved new currency in eighteenth-century anatomy, gaining value as curiosities and commodities, as well as pedagogical and experimental objects. This was on top of their traditional role as purveyors of human mortality and earthly processes of decay. Margaret Carlyle will focus on the emergence in this period of anatomical atlases featuring idealised human skeletons and their roles as objects of curiosity and education. She will talk on one particular atlas, The Anatomy of the Human Bones, and its mid-century translation from English into French by a very fascinating and little-known woman named Mme Thiroux d'Arconville. She will discuss her role in overseeing the artists who drew and engraved the skeleton illustrations including the skeleton of a female and why Mme d’Arconville chose to publish her edition under a male protector's name knowing that, as a female author in the medical sciences, her work would not be taken seriously otherwise.

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Image © Sophie Ristelhueber

Broken Perceptions: thinking art, with Rancière, as a reframing of the world
presentation by Professor Tina Chanter
 
Perceptions acquire a rigidity that comes to light only when they break into pieces, only when they shatter. We just do not realize, most of the time, how hemmed in we are by them, these ways the world presents itself to us. And then, one day, as Achebe, following Yeats, puts it, things fall apart. With such dislocations, the knowledge that, as it turns out, this fluff, this cotton wool, this unspecifiable environment, this atmosphere, held together, comes tumbling down. Who would have known it was so important? This all too vague, ineffable gauze, this finely woven, all but transparent fabric of the world.

Tina Chanter's talk will draw on the work of philosopher Jacques Rancière, who looks at the possibility of art re-framing the world and performing a political function.

 

Jessica

Beyond Disguise
Jessica Voorsanger


Artist Jessica Voorsanger challenges the relationship between audience and artist and examines obsession and celebrity culture in her practice and research. By impersonating and disguising as celebrated pop icons she scrutinizes mass communication, popular culture and identity through photography, performance and portrait painting. Recent work explores a more personal narrative, using subversive humour which contemplates nostalgia, memory and trauma.

 

Programme of events:
Art Trail Exhibition 4 Nov 2014 to 28 Feb 2015 10am-5pm daily
Private View Thu 6 Nov 2014 6.30-8.30pm, Brockway Room
Educational Workshops Wed 12 & 19 Nov 2014 10am-12pm & 1-3pm, Brockway Room
Art School & DJ Vinyl Party Sat 22 Nov 2014 mid-day-8pm

 

 

 

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SOUTH LONDON WOMEN ARTISTS COLLABORATIVE

PRESS RELEASE 

 

 A3 Poster Residency

 

We are proud to announce an Arts Council England funded residency, art trail and Symposium commences in November 2014 at Conway Hall in Holborn, London. This South London Women Artists residency takes the archaeology of mind and memory as a starting point for a new collaborative work - a series of interventions that enquire into possession and loss and how we archive and process the metaphysical in material culture. A full programme of events lists the art-trail over 3 floors, educational workshops and academic guest speakers at the Symposium.

 

Curated by Jackie Brown, Melissa Budasz, Moira Jarvis, Laura Moreton-Griffiths, Chrissy Thirlaway

 

 Participating artists

Beata Kozlowska, Bula Chakravarty Agbo, Carol Misch, Caroline Underwood, Chantal Gillingham, Chrissy Thirlaway, Christine Landreth, Edori Fertig, Eithne Twomey, Gillian Best Powell, Gin Dunscombe, Jackie Brown, Jane Higginbottom, Jasmine Pradissitto, Jennie Merrell, Julie Bennett, Karin Dahlbacha, Kate Bowe, Kim Thornton, Laura Moreton-Griffiths, Leonie Cronin, Lisa Brown, Liz Atkin, Liz Charsley-Jory, Lucy Soni, Maria Beddoes, Marnie Pitts, Melissa Budasz, Moira Jarvis, Paola Minekov, Pat Keay, Pia Randall-Goddard, Reema Dreaming, Susan Wood

 

Exhibition programme key dates

Art Trail Exhibition

4 November 2014 to 28 February 2015 10am-5pm daily
Private Vew

Thursday 6 November 2014 6.30-8.30pm, in the Brockway Room

Educational workshops
Wednesday 12 & 19 November 2014 10am-12pm & 1-3pm, in the Brockway Room

Art School & DJ Vinyl party
Saturday 22 November 2014 mid-day to 8pm

 

Symposium

Ticketed FREE event through Eventbrite
Thursday 20 November 2014 7-9pm, followed by a drinks reception in the Main Hall at Conway Hall

Chaired by
Professor Rebecca Fortnum, School of Art & Design, VIsual Arts - Middlesex University

Speakers:
Margaret Carlyle, SSHRC Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of History & Philosophy of Science - University of Cambridge

Professor Tina Chanter, Head of School Humanities, Faculty of Arts & Social Sciences - Kingston University

Jessica Voorsanger, Senior Lecturer Sculpture, School of Fine Art - UCA University of the Creative Arts

 

 

 

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Exciting news, we have been awarded Arts Council England funding for this project. 

FKLW Logo

 

 

We are proud to announce a self-initiated residency to take place throughout November 2014 at Conway Hall, Red Lion square in WC1. Prompted by the creative and independent thought and free speech behind the Conway Hall Ethical Society, 1787 to date and in response to the building and history of Conway Hall itself, this residency takes the archaeology of mind and memory as a starting point for a new collaborative work - a site-specific exhibition and series of interventions that enquire into possession and loss and how we archive and process the metaphysical in material culture.  The aim of the project is not to sit in the past, catalogue or contain, but through the SLWA Art School, research, education programme and symposium to expand and explore abstract notions around being, knowing, identity, time and space. 

 

 

CuratorsJackie Brown, Melissa Budasz, Moira Jarvis, Laura Moreton-Griffiths, Chrissy Thirlaway

Exhibition

This selected show is a wonderful opportunity to stretch your own practice – works can be film, 2D, 3D, performance and you can work collaboratively in a group. We need your expression of interest by 25 April 2014 latest and we plan to take all those interested on a tour of Conway Hall (nearest tube Holborn) on Saturday 26 April 2014, meeting outside at 11.00am. We are looking for work to be a direct response to this brief and to the space itselfThe deadline for submissions is 31 May 2014, submission fee £30.00. Participants will need to be actively involved during the November residency and available for crits – dates will be confirmed shortly. As well as a private view, we have a DJ vinyl /archive slide night arranged as well as educational workshops with local schools.

Conway Hall takes a 25% commission on all sold works.

Symposium

We are currently seeking high profile speakers across the humanities – from philosophy, science to art and we will update you further on the details of the Symposium at our AGM on Wednesday 9 July 2014 at Brixton East, 7.00-9.30pm.

Please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to express your interest.

For reference:

http://conwayhall.org.uk/

https://humanism.org.uk/

SLWA Mind Map

 

 

 The finished piece

 

HNDE

SLWA TWF DX 300dpi

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HIDDEN NARRATIVES DANGEROUS ERASIONS
by theWHYfront

Part of Deptford X London's Contemporary Art Festival

devised by Melissa Budasz & Laura Moreton-Griffiths
The Albany Friday 26 Sept to Sunday 5 Oct 2014

 

theWHYfront (aka SLWA artists) return to Deptford one year on from the launch of A Public Airing project, with an ambitious live collaborative drawing with the aim of promoting a better understanding of the role of women artists historically and in a current context. A visual story-board of 18 frames looks back through time and history at female art from cave painting, medieval tapestry and participation in the guilds, renaissance painting and sculpture through to Victorian portraiture and still life, early photography, surrealism, abstract expressionism, performance art and art to date. We are keen to identify the impact and relevance of the hidden narratives in contemporary culture, related specifically to key interests and concerns addressed by female artists today.

HIDDEN NARRATIVES 
DANGEROUS ERASIONS visually presents a story of female artists, well-known and not so well-known, connected to and operating at times of influence. Part of The Big Draw (the world's biggest drawing festival), this live drawing event will take place in the Foyer of London's leading word, music, theatre venue The Albany during the Deptford X Festival 2014. theWHYfront will collaboratively draw the 5.1m story-board in front of a watching public 26-27 September and 29 September-5 October 2014, 12-6pm daily.

Collaborative artists
Julie Bennett, Jackie Brown, Melissa Budasz, Robina Doxi, Chantal Gillingham, Laura Moreton-Griffiths, Margaret Higginson, Paula Stevens-Hoare, Moira Jarvis, Liz Charsley-Jory, Beata Kozlowska, Jennie Merrell, Lesley O'Mara, Marnie Pitts, Gillian Best-Powell, Mary Thomas Rodriguez, Selena Steele, Chrissy Thirlaway, Eithne Twomey

PRIVATE VIEW 3-5pm, SUNDAY 5 OCTOBER 2014. ALL WELCOME.

 

 

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SLWA TWF DX 300dpi

 

DEPTFORD X

LONDON'S CONTEMPORARY ART FESTIVAL

 

 


 

CALL FOR ENTRIES TO ALL SLWA ARTISTS 

 

THE WHY FRONT

SOUTH LONDON WOMEN ARTISTS COLLABORATIVE

at THE ALBANY

DOUGLAS WAY

DEPTFORD SE8


26 Sep to 5 Oct 2014

PV Sun 5 Oct 3-6 pm

devised by Melissa Budasz and Laura Moreton-Griffiths

We need your help to make this collaborative drawing come alive. THE WHY FRONT (aka SLWA) have been selected by Deptford X, London's Contemporary Arts Festival 2014 for this very ambitious drawing project.

With the aim of promoting a better understanding of the role of women artists historically and in a current context we explore the mis-representation of how women's art practice has been presented and the tendency to impose rigid and anti-historical categorization on women's art. Researching the history of female art from cave painting, medieval tapestry and manuscripts, participation in the guilds, renaissance painting and sculpture through to Victorian portraiture and still life, early photography, surrealism, abstract expressionism in the 20th Century, performative art and art to date; we are keen to identify the impact and relevance of the hidden narratives in contemporary culture, related specifically to key interests and concerns being addressed by female artists today.

HIDDEN NARRATIVES DANGEROUS ERASIONS visually presents a story presenting female artists connected to and operating at times of influence. The drawing will be drawn up to a large format on to a primed canvas roll 180 cm height and 510 cm length which will cover the Foyer wall of London's leading  word, music, theatre  venue The Albany. SLWA artists will collaboratively draw each day a story-board of differing images in front of a viewing public, bringing to the work your own individual characteristics of personality and drawing style combined with the qualities of the materials. This will largely be sharpies and other types of felt tip pens.

 

If you are interested in taking part, please state which days you can participate and express your interest by Friday 5 September to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

We will devise a timetable and schedule of collaborative artists during the Deptford X Festival period of Friday 26 September to Sunday 5 October 2014.

 

 

 

 

SOUTH LONDON WOMEN ARTISTS PRESS RELEASE

  P1090339

 

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Colourswatch by South London Women Artists is a celebration of the impactful elements of colour and is a visual feast. 41 SLWA artists will be exhibiting at *espaciogallery in Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch for two weeks 5-17 June 2014. 
 
Private view : Thursday 5 June 6-9pm
 
The idea behind Colourswatch was to allocate by random selection an A5 swatch of solid colour to each participating artist to promote
 a creative reaction. They were invited to respond intellectually, politically, adversely or emotionally to the colour with all its implicit symbolism and association.

Some artists felt challenged by their colour as it was outside their usual studio practice and comfort zone. Others welcomed the project, for the same reasons. Come and view the results which are exciting, revealing, subtle and clever in their diversity and integrity.
 
 
 
 
Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Twitter @SLWArtists Facebook southlondonwomenartists
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 Images taken from the private view at *espaciogallery on 5 June 2014
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