Gathering #16 - 6 March 2020
Links to the audio of the presentations from this workshop are below. This workshop was led by Althea Greenan, curator of the Women’s Art Library, along with Lauren Craig and Gina Nembhard. As members of X Marks the Spot, an art and archive research collective, Craig and Nembhard have explored the Women of Colour Index held at the Women’s Art Library, as well as the Jo Spence archive.
Workshop members examined material in the Women’s Art Library and considered how archivists, artists and activists have sought to creatively engage with the collection. The workshop explored questions around how to approach collaborative practice through its archival traces.
The Women’s Art Library is a unique collection of material on women artists, with a growing programme of creative interventions by artists, curators, writers and archivists. It is held in the Special Collections, Goldsmiths Library, Lewisham Way, New Cross, London, SE14 6NW. This workshop was funded by the Association for Art History, the British Art Network and Goldsmiths Art Department Research Support Award. It was organised by Catherine Grant (Goldsmiths), Amy Tobin (University of Cambridge) and Rachel Warriner (Courtauld Institute of Art) as part of the research project “Group Work: Contemporary Art and Feminism” https://groupworkartandfeminism.wordpress.com/.
Althea Greenan sharing material from the Women’s Art Library. Photo: Emily Perry
Archival material from the Women’s Art Library. Photo: Emily Perry
Lauren Craig presenting material from X Marks the Spot. Photo: Emily Perry
Gina Nembhard presenting material from X Marks the Spot. Photo: Emily Perry
Seminar participants explore archival material from the Women’s Art Library. Photo: Emily Perry
Lauren Craig is a London-born artist of Jamaican heritage. Her practice encompasses her lived experience and auto-ethnographic approach as a cultural researcher, full-spectrum doula and celebrant, living and working in London and Central Italy. Through photography, video, text, installation, performance and writing, she explores equally broad themes of ecofeminism, spirituality, health, memory and the propositional. Craig's current research/practice incorporates restorative writing circles with photographic, moving image and therapeutic and reparative archival methods to create and document the creative genealogies of contemporary celebration, rituals and commemoration within the practices of womxn of colour artists and their allies. Lauren aims to further her practice-based research on MRes Arts and Humanities, Royal College of Art (2020/2021) with the aim to continue at doctoral level in the UK. Lauren is a member of X Marks the Spot (XMTS) an ongoing artist archival research collective founded 2011 at Studio Voltaire London in response the work of Jo Spence and Judith Hopf. Since 2013 XMTS have worked the Women of Colour Index (WOCI) producing, Human Endeavour: A creative finding aid for the Women of Colour Archive, (2015) published with Women's Art Library, Special Collections, Goldsmiths where the WOCI archive is held. The ‘Women of Colour Slide Show’ explores reparative methods through digitally restored 35mm slides in a mediative fusion of role call, tribute and invitation. This has been shown at Tate Britain (2018) and the Centre for Contemporary Art, Goldsmiths (2019).
Dr Althea Greenan works in Special Collections and Archives at Goldsmiths University of London curating the Women’s Art Library collection. Her work with the collection began in 1989 as a volunteer with the Women Artists Slide Library, the artists’ organization that became the Women’s Art Library in 1993. She remained with the collection when it was gifted to the Library at Goldsmiths University of London, and now works with artists and academic researchers to help realise new art and curatorial projects that develop alongside the collection. She has written on the work of women artists since the 1980s publishing reviews, interviews and creative pieces in a range of publications from art magazines to academic journals. Her recent doctoral research focused on the WAL slide collection and aspects of digitization to ask: What can an artists’ slide collection do besides represent artwork? Her findings recover the text produced by slide-making and the feminist net-work that the slide collection continues to reproduce today.
Gina Nembhard has spent a number of years involved in art and design projects both practicing and assisting artists. Initially Gina developed her mixed media work and fine art textiles embroidery and later whilst studying, worked in a London based all-female architecture practice (A.T.A.P). Later her studies in sustainable product design led her to develop a business/practice combining both art/craft workshops focusing on a broad range of making including upholstery, textiles, stitch and dyeing. Within her work she tries to maintain a consistently sustainable perspective. As a member of X Marks the Spot, a collective of women practitioners and artists initially formed whilst in residency at Studio Voltaire, Gina has been involved in a number of talks, workshops and residencies on the subject of artists and archives.