British Art Network
Art and the Women’s Movement in the UK 1970-1988
Art and the Women’s Movement in the UK 1970 – 1988 is a new British Art Network (BAN) Research Group for 2022, centred around research for a major new exhibition of the same topic. The exhibition will be at Tate Britain October 2023 – April 2024 and will later travel to the Whitworth.
The research group is focused on questions of women’s art practice, particularly that from the 1970s and 80s which has been largely overlooked in British art history. At its heart it is a commitment to the expansion and acknowledgement of complex historical truths: who were these women artists, what kind of activism were they engaged in? Why is their work so hard to find? Why is it only held in very particular collections? How do wider socio-political moments (equal pay act, race discrimination act, Thatcher, AIDS crisis) affect their work?
The network aims to widen accessibility to research around the subject area with a focus on conversations around feminist, womanist, lesbian, socialist and disability politics and experience, and activism. Our approach is trans inclusive and intersectional.
We are a group that are interested in surfacing the work of artists who have been marginalised or overlooked within patriarchal institutions and art world structures, particularly those working outside major metropolitan centres.
Across three public BAN events in 2022 we hope to engage with a wide variety of voices to explore research, test ideas, and introduce each other to artistic practice of which we might not previously have been aware.
We aim to work to a feminist methodology which we understand as creating safe spaces for conversation, ensuring presenting participants are paid, ensuring care and access needs. Material from each meeting will be compiled in a zine which we will publish as a PDF at the end of the year.
The Art and the Women’s Movement Research Group is led by Linsey Young (Curator British Contemporary Art, Tate), Poppy Bowers (Senior Curator, Exhibitions, the Whitworth) and Zuzana Flaskova (Assistant Curator Modern and Contemporary Art, Tate), with Olivia Heron (Curator, the Whitworth).
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Image: Poster by See Red Women’s Workshop, 7 Demands (1974)
Courtesy of See Red Women’s Workshop