spring #2 X-ray or kiss? Taking Matters Into Our Own Hands

‘Which do you remember, the first time you saw an X-ray, or the first time you felt a kiss? Both? For me, it’s both.’

AL Kennedy

early sex

With International Women’s Day around the corner, there was something celebratory in the air. The Richard Saltoun gallery had a retrospective of feminist performance art (Rose English’s girls with horsetails; Carolee Shneemann’s naked rollerskate on a London to Scotland train..) and South London Women Artists was revisiting Judy Chicago’s (seminal is sooo not the right word!) The Dinner Party. Material enough here for a day’s writing, surely.

We began in the dimly lit upper galleries at the Wellcome Collection before moving into the white walled space of Saltoun’s.

Medicine Man’s ‘Beginning Of Life‘ display: something of a misnoma; the collection includes ancient sex aids – ivory dildos, sexy netsuke, as well as plushly lined (eeek) chastity belts. It says something about the no-nonsense nature of our writers that unhygienic was what got our attention – that, and how like giant salad servers forceps are..

With inspiration from Granta’s recent Medicine edition , the challenge was: how to use works from the Wellcome as props in our very own performance piece or installation.

See Spring #2 to read how we rose to the challenge…

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About claire collison

Writer, photographer, creative facilitator, and breast cancer survivor, I am currently Artist in Residence at the Women's Art Library (WAL) My first novel was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize, and my short stories and poetry have appeared in print and online. In 2015 I was awarded second place in the inaugural Resurgence Prize, the world's first eco poetry competition, judged by Sir Andrew Motion, Alice Oswald, and Jo Shapcott. This blog began as a space for words generated on my walking/writing workshops at the Mary Ward centre in Bloomsbury - Writing the City (WTC). WTC has since grown to include many other venues, including the Museum of Broken Relationships, the Barbican, the River Rom, Southwark Woods, Aylesbury Estate, and most recently, as part of Walking Women festival, An Intimate Tour of Breasts. I have worked with Kettle's Yard, Cambridge, as the recipient of the first Max Reinhardt Literacy Award, designing teaching resources; and for The Photographers' Gallery, helping school children develop visual literacy as part of 'Seeing More Things'. If you would like me to design a workshop or walk for you, please be in touch!
This entry was posted in carolee shneemann, jo spence, netsuke, richard saltoun, rose english, sexy, wellcome. Bookmark the permalink.

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