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Woman's Work

FRANCIS, Anna (2016) Woman's Work. [Show/Exhibition]

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Abstract or description

Woman’s Work is a partnership project between AirSpace Gallery and The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. Woman’s Work seeks to make visible the hidden and unsung labour carried out by women in the home, the workplace and public life, and in particular seeks to redress the imbalance in history and the arts, where work made by women has been undervalued, or simply not recognised.

Following on from some of the themes touched upon, but not fully explored in The Artist and The City Exhibition, 2015, Woman's Work is again curated by Anna Francis (AirSpace Gallery) and Jean Milton (Potteries Museum and Art Gallery - PMAG) and will be exhibited concurrently and consecutively at AirSpace until November 5th and through to November 2017 at PMAG.

The year-long project involves a number of exhibitions, events and activities

• An exhibition of contemporary works and new commissions at AirSpace Gallery, including printworks by the Senenfelder Group.
• 'Wonder Women' A complimentary exhibition by The Cultural Sisters and Letting in the Light, within the AirSpace Gallery Resource Room.
• ‘The Fabulous Ladies of Stoke,' - a year long, changing series of exhibits on the balcony at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.
• A Woman’s Tour of the Museum - a new way to navigate the museum and its collection, including some newly commissioned works and featuring a rehang of the Art Gallery at the Potteries Museum from January 2017, to give a gender balance of female artists, and to bring out some of the amazing works by women from within the museum's collection.
• The development of a Mobile Woman’s Potteries Museum –a mobile structure housing documentation of all activity and exhibits from the Woman’s Work project. This mobile exhibition and resource space and resource can, at the end of the project, travel across the city.

Woman’s Work at AirSpace Gallery
30th September to 5th November, 2016

Item Type: Show/Exhibition
Additional Information: Information about the Commissione Artists: Monique Besten - A Soft Armour “One of the first days I wore my three piece suit, I saw a flash of blue. I caught it on the inside of my suit. In white thread. I never saw a kingfisher before. There is an oil stain on my right sleeve. A late dinner with friends. It has been there for 83 days now. A woman laughed when she scanned the QR code on my back and saw the drawing of the beheaded man. I don’t know why she laughed. He’s always bothering me, scratching my leg. Something Thoreau said about suits. “beware of all enterprises that require new clothes, and not rather a new wearer of clothes “.” Monique Besten is a nomadic artist who was born in the Netherlands and is at home where her feet are. She works site-specific using different media with a special focus on long distance performative walking, crossing countries on foot collecting stories and researching life. Themes in her work are slowness, sustainability, borders and simplicity. She likes to be in the here and now by creating poetic bridges between the past and the future, the real and the virtual world, analogue and digital ways of working. Claire Hickey - Untitled Claire is a visual artist who makes self-responsive sculptural objects, installations, and multiples. Her work focuses on making by hand using performative gesture to explore how malleable matter can be physically manipulated and shaped by her body and its experiences. She uses materials intuitively, using moulding and casting techniques to work in clay, wax, concrete and plaster. Somatic, familiar and functional, they reflect the tensions and flux of the female condition. Her current practice, and in exhibition here, uses brick stacks, embedded casts, and moulds to examine notions of pregnancy, labour, women's work, and the dichotomy of being both an artist and mother. Stephanie Rushton - Looking at the Overlooked Emanating from a residency at AirSpace looking at the condition and roles of working women in the Potteries, Stephanie presents a series of environmental portraits depicting contemporary creative female practitioners in Stoke on Trent in their studios and workshops, more often than not the abandoned factories and workshops of the former pottery firms. Alongside she presents a work in action reportage piece of newly made black and white images interspersed with selected imagery from the Potteries Museum photographic archive and projected in a continuous loop slideshow. Stephanie studied photography at Blackpool and The Fylde College and was apprenticed to David Bailey for five years. and now works as a lecturer in Photography at University of Derby. Her recent work is concerned with exploring issues surrounding art, ecology and eco-psychology, eco- psychology being the study of the relationship between humanity and the earth through ecological and psychological principles. Joanne Ayre - Jessie, Kate Through presentation of a series of collections of objects and ephemera, Joanne Ayre exhibits the initial thoughts for her year-long Woman’s Work Residency. The beginnings of an exploration; the first glimpses into the lives of three named women who worked in the Potteries. Unpicking the visual elements that make their work identifiable and illustrating the first strands of their individual stories. The pieces reflect upon what information is not there as much as what is. How did Enid Seeney feel when she stopped designing? When was Kate Bruce first allowed to sign her work? Did Jessie Tait find as much satisfaction in the drawing of a design as in the tube-lining of her own thrown ware? These pieces are full of questions that apply not only to their subjects but to other women who played a role in the production line; over the course of the year I hope to uncover some of the stories behind the objects that were created by women in the Potteries, past and present. Born in Stoke on Trent, Jo studied ceramics in Cardiff and at the Royal College of Art and is resident artist at the BCB studio at Spode Works. Her own practice has been invigorated and enlivened by establishing opportunities for others to make in clay and new ways of working are emerging through this immersive activity. Reflections upon traditions, collaboration, anonymity, collective endeavour and the pleasure of making have become a focus for playful, yet thoughtful exploration. Phoebe Cummings - Nocturne Phoebe Cummings creates detailed, temporary sculptures and environments from clay. The work is often built directly on site, and where possible, the same clay is reclaimed and reused at different locations. Over the past ten years she has worked without a permanent studio space, often developing work through residencies, using the gallery space as a temporary workshop and increasingly producing components at home. Nocturne is a brief bouquet of flora that blooms at night; an ode to the work mothers do when their children sleep. Often these hours are intensely productive, a second day where an alternate role is performed. Unseen, the kitchen table may become office, studio or factory. Cummings studied Three-Dimensional Crafts at the University of Brighton, before completing an MA in Ceramics & Glass at the Royal College of Art in 2005. Cummings was selected as the winner of the British Ceramics Biennial Award in 2011 and recent exhibitions have included a commission to make work for Swept Away at the Museum of Arts & Design, New York in 2012 and a solo show at the University of Hawaii Art Gallery, Honolulu (2013). Additional information about the Exhibition: Woman’s Work at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery Through to November, 2017 Potteries Museum and Art Gallery The Fabulous Ladies of Stoke A changing series of exhibits on the balcony at The Potteries Museum and Art gallery across the full year which celebrates some of the important historic, activist women, who fought for Women's rights, justice and were leading lights in a variety of fields. From Millicent Sutherland to Gertie Gitana, they are all inspirational women with connections to the city. Woman's Work Tour of the Museum This exhibition trail around the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery highlights some of the amazing artworks and artefacts by and about women, and in particular ‘women working’ from the Museum’s collection. This will change and evolve throughout the year, but significantly, will include a rehang in January, 2017 of the Art gallery, to achieve a 50/50 balance of male to female artists. The tour will include artworks from the collection, made by women, but also depicting women at work, aiming to draw out some of the amazing stories of how women have worked through history, in often undervalued contexts and the contribution made to the arts and industry by women. As an example, included in the trail is a chance to take a fresh look at Enid Seeney’s ‘Homemaker’ tableware and hear about this important Ceramic Designer, the first female to be trained in the Spode Factory Design Team, and whose iconic design was sold in Woolworths. The tour will also include items from social history and a series of new commissions for the project. The contemporary works for the trail will change throughout the year, but will include - Documentation of Dutch artist Monique Besten’s practice and her Walking Suit. Her long distance walks are a counterpoint to the traditional Romantic figure of the lone male walker in the landscape. September 30th, 2016. - Existing works by artist Claire Hickey, which explore changes to the female body through pregnancy as well as a new commission where the artist is using brick making processes, with the names of female makers and workers, celebrating hands on skills. January, 2017. - A new series of works by photographer Stephanie Rushton, whose commercial and fine art photography has, in the past, included a series of creatives at work. Stephanie completed a residency at AirSpace Gallery during the summer 2016 –where she explored the museum archives, drawing out a research project, resulting in a photographic series exploring the themes of the exhibition, and for January, 2017 presents a new video work, presenting her findings. - The final aspect of the tour involves a year long residency being undertaken by ceramic artist Jo Ayre, who will exhibit a series of responsive artworks at the beginning of the residency, which consider the lives of women working in the Potteries. The residency will then explore how Potteries women navigated their lives through the challenges of work, family and personal identity, reflecting upon the social hierarchies and stereotypes, the gendered roles within the workplace, and accepted and subversive behaviours . The project culminates in an exhibit of findings and artworks at the end of the year, during BCB 2017.
Faculty: School of Creative Arts and Engineering > Art and Design
Event Title: Woman's Work
Event Location: AirSpace Gallery and The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, England
Event Dates: 30th September, 2016 - 6th November 2017
Depositing User: Anna FRANCIS
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2019 13:59
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2019 13:59
URI: http://eprints.staffs.ac.uk/id/eprint/5537

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