More female artists

I’m torn between continuing with my previous investigations into how I can depict my maternal family tree in a non linear manner or abandoning it and starting afresh; in which case what?

Some research on female artists.

Anne Hamilton
Hannah Wilke
Francesca Woodman
Janet Cardiff

 Anne Hamilton

‘the event of a thread is made of many crossings of the near at hand and the far away: it is a body crossing space, is a writer’s hand crossing a sheet of paper, is a voice crossing a room in a paper bag, is a reader crossing with a page and with another reader, is listening crossing with speaking, is an inscription crossing a transmission, is a stylus crossing a groove, is a song crossing species, is the weightlessness of suspension crossing the calling of bell or bellows, is touch being touched in return. It is a flock of birds and a field of swings in motion. It is a particular point in space at an instant of time.’ — Ann Hamilton

Anne’s full statement is here.

Ann Hamilton/Armory show

I’m unsure how many people could be immersed in this installation but my guess is 100s.

‘The scroll they read from is a concordance, which is by definition an alphabetical arrangement of the principal words of a book with reference to the passage in which each word occurs.’  AH

Ann Hamilton/Armory show

Instead of headphones the speakers are enveloped in brown paper bags.

Ideas for expansion……………

‘As a child, I could spend hours pressed against the warmth of my grandmother’s body listening to her read, the rustling of her hand turning the page, watching the birds and the weather outside, transported by the intimacy of a shared side by side.’ AH

Investigation of how I feel as a grandmother – these intimate moments with my grandchildren? This takes me back to the quote by Alison Stone I selected for my ‘Mothers’ project.

‘Because the past is re-enacted between the mother and her child, the past is always re-created in a new shape, adapted to the unique individual that each child is. This ensures that the mother can only remember her infantile past in the light of this novel present, a present that bestows on the past new meanings that it did not originally have. Thus the mother’s past returns, but never simply as it was.’

Ann’s work appeals to me – the size, the use of materials, the playfulness, the use of sight/site, the use of sounds, the invitation to the public to interact with her work.

Hannah Wilke

I can’t say the same for Hannah’s work – it has no appeal for me in both content and materials although it is very strong and I admire her for that. Her forms don’t shock me; they are made from ceramics or chewing gum and reference vaginas, but they lack humour – I much prefer Judy Chicago’s work on the same topic. hwcorcoran‘Hannah Wilke made her signature vaginal sculptures from chewing gum which she formed into intricate shapes and placed on her body for the S.O.S. photographic series. Wilke also placed gum sculptures on postcards, in small boxes, on sheets of paper and on multiple grids of paper. She made kneaded erasers into vaginal shapes she placed on architectural and landscape postcards and made a series called “Needed-Erase-Her,” kneaded eraser sculptures on flat painted boards arranged in minimalist, geometric and free-form patterns.’

Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago (American, b. 1939). The Dinner Party (Virginia Woolf place setting), 1974–79. Mixed media: ceramic, porcelain, textile. Brooklyn Museum, Gift of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation, 2002.10. © Judy Chicago. Photograph by Jook Leung Photography

 Francesca Woodman

From the Tate website:-

‘She explores issues of gender and self, looking at the representation of the body in relation to its surroundings. Woodman usually puts herself in the frame, although these are not conventional self-portraits, since as she is either partially hidden, or concealed by slow exposures that blur her moving figure into a ghostly presence. This underlying fragility is emphasised by the small and intimate format of the photographs.’

Untitled (FW crouching behind umbrella) circa 1980 by Francesca Woodman 1958-1981

Although I wish my work to be personal I don’t want to ‘be in the frame’. Moving from a position of safety into one where I expose myself either literally or metaphorically is too big a leap for me to make at the moment. I have to remain true to myself and I am a natural introvert.

Janet Cardiff

This Canadian artist works in sound – something I’d like to consider in my work. One of her sound scapes can be heard here. I mustn’t be put off by the technicalities.


‘This is a house made entirely of antique books, mostly English literature published in the United Kingdom. Spines out, pages in, the work is a library turned in on itself, a space of infinite possibility where nothing may be read yet everything imagined.The work has no windows and in the absence of external stimulation, we must imagine the worlds of the books, and hear the voice in our head that talks to us when we read. Books, the stories they tell about the opportunity they offer for escape into other worlds, are a key inspiration for Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller. Commissioned by Modern Art Oxford and the Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh with the support of Outset Contemporary Art Fund.’



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