“And, while I’m asking questions- why am I exposing my single-breasted self to you now, above a pop up shop next door to Poundland? What’s life modelling got to do with it?”
This was a line in my script included specifically for the Southend version of Truth is Beauty, at TOMA (The Other MA)’s pop up shop in Royals Shopping Centre.
Previous lines have been “on the coldest day of the year” (The Women’s Art Library, on a snowy day in March – remember back then? when we thought the cold would never end?)
On Tuesday I shall be performing once more, this time at the PGR Drawing Research Network Conference 2018 at Loughborough University: Practice and Drawing//Diverse Perspectives: examining possibilities for drawing in practice-led research. So this weekend I’m trying to decide on an appropriate line to drop in, to make it Loughborough relevant.
Info/ booking for conference
#truthisbeauty #jugs #breastcancer #unreconstructed #notafreak
Thought provoking piece by Esther Bunting via The Male Gaze in Life Drawing
On reconstructed women: a very short talk.
On International Women’s Day I went to Southend to give a half pech-kucha – that’s three minutes of chat. What a warm reception. Definitely worth the trip, I’d say…
Metal Southend pecha kucha
On Saturday 7th April, a group of women who had never previously met gathered outside St Agatha’s church in Sparkhill to participate in a three hour adventure, exploring how the commodification and mythologising of breasts within our society – from shops to art galleries, from religion to bras – impacts on how we relate to our own breasts. The walk, commissioned by Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, as part of their ‘Coming Out’ exhibition, was an absolute joy. I learnt loads! There have been requests to make this an annual event. Watch this space.
1992 ‘I never studied photography,’ I tell Rosy; ‘I just made it up as I went along.’
‘What ingenue crap,’ Rosy says. She is lying on a kitchen floor in Exeter, blowing cigarette smoke out of a cat flap. We are houseguests of the Visual Arts Officer, who doesn’t smoke. Rosy smokes a lot. Rosy is quite intimidating, but we get on, so long I don’t come out with ingenue crap.
2017 Rosy and I arrange to meet at a Griselda Pollock lecture, possibly the most Feminist Artist date imaginable. She knows everyone. Afterwards, we eat at a Lebanese place in Camberwell where I lose a scarf the size of a bedsheet. We talk about crediting, collaborating, ground rules, hindsight. I realise I have not been great at crediting. Not much of what I have done has really been all my own work, and this seems important to realise. I want to acknowledge all the people who help. I need people. I can’t manage alone. These are not signs of weakness. Beginning on new collaborations, we discuss the detail of how we shall work; we establish ground rules, agree on how to credit and who owns what. Thanks, Rosy.
(From my catalogue notes, ‘Watch This Space’ exhibition, Goldsmith’s College, Feb/March 2018)
Today at 1pm I shall be reprising the Birmingham Intimate Tour of Breasts walk, (I understand it’s known by staff at the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery as The “Infamous Tour….” ) with a few changes and additions – not least because it will include the fantastic exhibition Coming Out, who commissioned this walk. Sarah Lucas’ fried egg self portrait, Gillian Wearing’s tee shirts, and Margaret Harrison’s early painting- to mention just three. Also, an update on the availability of post mastectomy lingerie in the city. A good news story! More soon…
On March 3rd 2018 I gave the second performance of my single-breasted monologue, Truth is Beauty, at the Women’s Art Library at Goldsmith’s College.
Here are drawings made by artists and non-artists alike – women who came to hear my story, and who hopefully left understanding a little more about why unreconstructed women like me are so invisible in our society.
Credits: Kim McMahon, Ginni Collison, Mary Morris, Charlotte Morrison, Lydia Julien, Alice Williams, Melody Thomson, Margaret Jennings, Lucie Russell, Angela Hodgson-Teall, Bettina Weichert, Giulia Corpino, Phyllis Lane. (Please be in touch if I have not credited you!)