Women and Work and Winchester Geese

The sun shone for our final outing. which is lucky because we were out and about on the streets of South London, considering Women and Work, and Working Girls –

From poorly paid piece work in the Nineteen century, to poorly paid piece work in the Nineteen Seventies.

We walked through Little Dorrit Playground, and sat in the beautiful spring sunshine of  Red Cross Garden, coveting the almshouses of Ocavia Hill’s deserving poor.

We walked the same streets that women  known as ‘Winchester Geese’ would have walked and worked, paying  taxes to the Bishop of Winchester for the privilege, and we visited the site their unconsecrated bones exhumed in the thousands from a Crossrail building site, across the road from the Boot and Flogger pub.

The streets were full of tiny dramas; we passed a powder blue Virgin Mary in her pebble dashed grotto, where a a dog was tied to the railings and a woman posed for a photographer. Around the corner a young man held a lustrous chestnut wig at arm’s length. As he brushed it out it caught the sun and swished like the tail of a pony.

We couldn’t have fit much more into a morning, the words are still coming. (You can read them on the page:’Women+Work2 Winchester Geese’)

Tate Modern Homeworkers

isobella and gerrySAM_5781SAM_4588SAM_5823SAM_4854SAM_4569SAM_4568SAM_4567SAM_4572SAM_4582

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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!
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