Barby Asante is a London based artist, curator, educator and occasional DJ. Her work is concerned with the politics of place, space, identity and the histories and legacies of colonialism making work that is collaborative, performative and dialogic. She has created works that consider migration, safe space to gather in cities antagonistic to ones presence and how one maps the self as a contributor to narratives of society, culture and politics.
Since the late 80s Burman has been exploring the aesthetics of Asian femininity in paintings and installations, photography and printmaking, video and film. More recently, this theme has taken on a new power and vibrancy within a new body of work drawing together ideas and images contained in the new cultural contexts of national and international politics in the twenty-first century. Challenging stereotypical assumptions of Asian women, Burman's work is informed by popular culture and its relationship to art, Bollywood, Hindu philosophy, fashion, found objects, portraiture, gender and identity politics.
Rose Gibbs is an artist and writer who regularly initiates and contributes to talks and symposiums. There are several different strands to Rose Gibbs’ practice: using the voice in participatory performances, sculpture, writing, organizing and presenting talks and collaborating with others. All are interconnected and attempt to elicit thinking about gender and its role in shaping the cultural landscape where the place of women seems fragile. Along side the peer mentoring group Practice in Dialogue Rose Gibbs is involved in a number of collaborative projects. She has curated and contributed to exhibitions and performance events at the ICA, The Showroom and Beaconsfield. She has focused much of her research on feminist collectivity and childcare with a focus on The Hackney Flashers about whose project Who’s Holding the Baby? she gave a talk at Tate Britain. She has worked with The East London Fawcett Group, One Billion Rising, Keep It Complex and feminist economics organization The Women’s Budget Group.
Chantal Joffe RA is an English artist based in London. Almost always depicting women or girls, Joffe is renowned for expressive portraits of family, friends and fellow artists. Working from photographs, she uses broad, fluid brushstrokes to animate her protagonists. Ranging in scale from a few inches square to monumental canvases, her iconic depictions, which are often intimate and imbued with humour, testify to the concerns and mores of women from diverse walks of life. In 2006, she received the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award from the Royal Academy. Chantal Joffe's work has shown internationally in many exhibitions including at The National Portrait Gallery London, National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavík and Jewish Museum, New York.
Claudette Johnson is a British artist known for her large-scale drawings of Black women and involvement with the BLK Art Group. Often taking the image of the Black woman as her subject Johnson attempts to both counter widespread negative portrayals of the Black woman and to combat what effectively amounts to their lack of visibility in assorted arenas. Correspondingly, Johnson’s work seeks to create a range of depictions of the Black female body that were free from, or resisted, objectification.
Sisters of Jam is a collective founded in 2008 by artists Moa and Mikaela Krestesen. They work with interdisciplinary artistic research based projects using multiple media – photography, video, drawing, installation and text – in an ongoing investigation of community, sisterhood, historiography and continuity. They aim to create a feminist dialogue over generations and geographies, that is both virtual and allegorical; that reaches backwards and forwards and at the same time tells us something new. Sisters of Jam look back in feminist history and re actualize the deeds, thoughts and aspirations of earlier generations of sisters and female colleagues, like adding to a patchwork. Using collaborative work methods they wish to overcome boundaries of genres and become wider, greater and stronger.
Marcia Michael, a current photography Ph.D student at the University of Arts London, has been observing and documenting her family since 2009. She studied Photography at London College of Communication, earning her MA in Photography with distinction. In her series The Study of Kin, Michael references the absence of black photographers and black families in the British archives, by constructing historical portraits of her family members. She has continued to document her family members – in particular her mother – in order to authenticate and replicate presence of the black body within the cultural framework of identity theory.
Michael has been a recipient of several awards and nominations, including the 2010 Spotlight Foto Visura, the 2010 IPA ‘Family’ awards and a Rhubarb-Rhubarb Bursary. She has received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Hariban Award and has been included twice in the National Portrait Gallery Taylor Wessing Portrait Prize. Her work has been exhibited in the UK and internationally, and is held in public and private collections worldwide.
Kate Millett was an American feminist writer, filmmaker, educator, artist, and activist. She attended Oxford University and was the first American woman to be awarded a degree with first-class honors after studying at St Hilda's College, Oxford. Millett’s 1970 book Sexual Politics became a keystone of second-wave feminism and her later works laid bare the subjugation of gay people, the mentally ill, the elderly and victims of political oppression. A pioneering figure in the women’s movement, she was also a visual artist who founded a women’s art colony on her farm in Poughkeepsie USA.
Ishbel studied at Glasgow and the Slade Schools of Art; she won the National Portrait Gallery's annual BP Portrait Award competition in 1995 and as a result was commissioned to paint Helen Mirren's portrait for the collection and subsequently Sir Willard White. Ishbel Myerscough is interested in pimples, not only pimples also wrinkles, puckers, tattoos, moles, freckles, bulges, veins, hair, skin colour, stretchmarks - all the things, in fact, that we edit out of our body images. Her work, very often, constitutes a sort of journey to the surface of the human being and everything she finds there she records.
Rosalind Nashashibi is a Palestinian-English artist based in London. She studied at Sheffield Hallam University and Glasgow School of Art. Nashashibi works primarily in film and also makes paintings and prints. Her films use the camera as an eye to convey moments and events, merging everyday observations with fantastical and mythological elements. The films are often meditative and sensuous and utilise an array of filmic conventions. In 2003, Nashashibi won the Beck's Futures prize, the first woman to do so, for The State of Things. In 2017 she was nominated for the Turner Prize. Her work is held in the collection of the Tate.
Yvonne Rainer is a dancer, choreographer, filmmake and writer, widely acknowledged as having played a key role in revolutionising post-war dance, inspiring generations of performers. In the sixties and early seventies, initially as part of the Judson Theater in New York (alongside Simone Forti, Steve Paxton and Trisha Brown), Rainer made dance works that were concerned with social and political form. Her choreography incorporated 'ordinary' movement and ‘neutral’ performance, rethinking the performer-audience relationship.
Rose Wylie is a painter. She studied at Folkestone and Dover School of Art, and at the Royal College of Art. All of her work is centred on painting and drawing and she is know for her large paintings on unprimed canvas. Wylie creates paintings and drawings that on first glance appear aesthetically simplistic, not seeming to align with any recognizable style or movement, but on closer inspection are revealed to be wittily observed and subtly sophisticated meditations on the nature of visual representation itself. The layers of newspaper that line her studio floor are a frequent source of material for the artist, as she encounters images by chance while working. Drawing from such wide-ranging cultural areas as film, fashion photography, literature, mythology, news images, sports, and individuals she meets in her day-to-day life, Wylie paints colourful and exuberant compositions that are uniquely recognizable. She has shown widely including at The Serpentine Gallery, Tate Britain and won the Charles Wollaston Award in 2015.
Nicole Wittenberg lives and works in New York. Recent exhibitions include Look! New Acquisitions at the Albertina Museum in Vienna; The Female Gaze, Part Two, Cheim & Read, New York, NY; Nice Weather Skarstedt Gallery, New York, NY; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA. She was awarded the American Academy of Arts and Letters John Koch award for best young figurative painter in 2012. Wittenberg has taught at Bruce High Quality Foundation University and the New York Studio School and the School of Visual Arts. Her work is included in the Albertina Museum, Vienna, Austria Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA; High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; Aishti Foundation, Beirut; Colby College Museum of Art, Waterville, ME; Bowdoin College Museum of Art, Brunswick, ME; Farnsworth Art Museum, Rockland, ME; Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME. She received her BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 2003.
Writers and Speakers
Laura Mulvey is a British feminist film theoritst. She came to prominence in the early 1970s writing for periodicals such as Spare Rib and Seven Days. Much of her early critical work investigated questions of spectatorial identification and its relationship to the male gaze, and her writings, particularly the 1975 essay Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema, helped establish feminist film theory as a legitimate field of study.
Between 1974 and 1982 Mulvey co-wrote and co-directed with her husband, Peter Wollen, six projects: theoretical films, dealing in the discourse of feminist theory, semiotics, psychoanalysis and leftist politics. The first of these, Penthesilea: Queen of the Amazons(1974) explored concerns central to Mulvey's writings: the position of women in relation to patriarchal myth, symbolic language and male fantasy. Penthesilea represents an experimental British venture into territory pioneered by the likes of Jean-Luc Godard. With its counter-cinema style and relentlessly didactic approach, however, its appeal was inevitably limited to a restricted audience.
The most influential of Mulvey and Wollen's collaborative films, Riddles of the Sphinx (1977), presented avant-garde film as a space in which female experience could be expressed. Remarkable formalistic innovation, notably 360-degree pans, inform the film's content, describing the mother's loss of and search for identity. The result is a challenging, forceful and intelligent film.
Alice Albinia is an award-winning author of interlinked works of fiction and non-fiction. Empires of the Indus (2008) and Leela's Book (2011) explore the territory, histories and politics of South Asia. Her new project focuses on the archipelago identity of Britain. Her books have been translated into several languages, pirated into Sindhi, and have won and been listed for many prizes, such as the Somerset Maugham Award. She is the mother of two young daughters.
Sophie Collins grew up in Bergen, North Holland, and now lives in Edinburgh. small white monkeys, a text on self-expression, self-help and shame, was published by Book Works in 2017 as part of a commissioned residency at Glasgow Women’s Library. Her first poetry collection, Who Is Mary Sue?, was published by Faber & Faber in February 2018, when it was named the Poetry Book Society’s Spring Choice. She is currently translating a full-length poetry collection and a novel (provisionally titled, in English, The Opposite of a Person) from the Dutch of Lieke Marsman.
Sophie Collins is a poets whose small white monkeys, a text on self-expression, self-help and shame, was published by Book Works in 2017 as part of a commissioned residency at Glasgow Women’s Library. Her first poetry collection, Who Is Mary Sue?, was published by Faber & Faber in February 2018, when it was named the Poetry Book Society’s Spring Choice. She is currently translating a full-length poetry collection and a novel (provisionally titled, in English, The Opposite of a Person) from the Dutch of Lieke Marsman.
Emily Berry is a poet and editor living in London. She has published two books of poems with Faber & Faber, Dear Boy (2013) and Stranger, Baby (2017). She is the editor of The Poetry Review and a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.
Nell Dunn (born 9 June 1936) is an English playwright, screenwriter and author whose works have been adapted for television and film directed by Ken Loach.
Her short stories, first published in The New Statesmen were brought together in Up The Junction (1963) and awarded the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. This collection was a controversial success at the time for its vibrant, realistic and non-judgmental portrait of its working-class protagonists. It was adapted for television by Dunn (and Ken Loach) for The Wednesday Play series, directed by Ken Loach. A cinema film version was released in 1968. In her second book a collection of interviews, Talking to Women (1965), Dunn spoke to nine of her friends over a bottle of wine about sex, work, money, babies, freedom and love. Her first novel Poor Cow was made into a film starring Carol White and Terence Stamp, under Loach's direction. Her later books are Grandmothers (1991) and My Silver Shoes (1996). Dunn's play Steaming was produced in 1981 and a television film Every Breath You Take, was transmitted in 1987. She has also written Sisters, a film script commissioned by the BBC. She won the 1982 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize.
Silver Press is a new feminist publisher based in London. In 2017, Silver Press published The Debutante and Other Stories, the first collected edition of Leonora Carrington's short stories, and Your Silence Will Not Protect You, which brought Audre Lorde's essays and poems together in one volume for the first time. In 2018, they published a new edition of Nell Dunn's book of conversations from 1965, Talking to Women. Silver Press is Joanna Biggs, Sarah Shin and Alice Spawls
Image credit: Chila Kumari Burman, PORTRAIT OF MY MUMMY JI in INDIA with £10 note, 1995, Photographic Work on Paper