Spring ’14 WTC#2: Women and Work – bermondsey boxes and suffragette teapots

Women and Work: Celebrating the Purple Green and White

suffragette badge: portcullis prisoner

International Women’s Day – or at least earlier that same week – was the perfect time to visit Tate Britain’s ‘Women and Work’ display,  looking at the industrial issues of the 1970s from an overtly feminist perspective, and combining this with an in depth look at Sylvia Pankhurst’s intimate paintings of women in the workplace and examples of artefacts and the early branding of the Suffragette movement on display in the adjacent gallery. Curator Emma Chambers provided us with masses of context and insight (thanks, Emma!)

Taking the use of lists in Women and Work as a way of organising some of the many themes that emerged from these displays, we looked at some examples of literary lists – James Agee’s Let Us Now Praise Famous MenTen Things I’ve Learnt About Love, by Sarah Butler, and The White Album, Joan Didion


Create your own list that celebrates, or remembers, or explores your response to ‘women, work, in/visibility, recognition, and commemoration….’

Considering the range of ways women are represented, recognised and celebrated in our culture – What women you would like to see celebrated – from your personal experience, and also from a larger context – historical and contemporary; famous and unsung?*

*these are themes that will be recurring over the next few months as part of Mary Ward’s ‘This Woman’s Work’ project. Watch this space…

Take a look at ‘Women and Work: Bermondsey Boxes and Suffragette Teapots’ page to see some of the FANTASTIC writing the day inspired.

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!
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