‘Woman’s Outlook’, Past Present Future

Rip, Mark, Stick, Create, Multi-Vocal Image Making

On Thursday morning I fly to Riga, Latvia for the first in a series of collaborative workshops with my colleague Jo Darnley. The workshop will take place at the Nordic Summer University under the Winter Symposium, Practicing Communities: Transformative societal strategies of artistic research. This exciting endeavor was brought on by Jo & I’s mutual love of printed material, in particular a desire to understand methods of ‘reading’ printed material and what it might mean to ‘read with others’.

Jo works with The National Cooperative Archive, and researches women’s identity within and through Woman’s Outlook, a magazine produced between 1919 – 1967. It soon became clear that my research into collaboratively produced books (often as a means to create/explore identity) and Jo’s research into a magazine (which explores a particular historical construction of identity and community) could prove an interesting crossover. With Jo’s desire to ‘open up’ the archive through encouraging discussion and interpretation around the magazine and my wish to watch the act of collaboratively producing a book in action, a workshop was born!

Here is an abstract of our workshop proposal:

The reading of images and texts as a mode of transformation connects Jo Darnley’s research into Woman’s Outlook, (WO), (1919 – 1967), a magazine which enables entry into a women only, political, broadly non- party and regional perspective, published by the National Co-operative Publishing Society (Est. 1871) and Gemma Meek’s reading about socially engaged book art (2000 – present day). This collaborative workshop proposal, aims to explore a multi-vocal approach to selecting, responding and transforming imagery from WO magazine.

Participants will be invited to engage with pages from WO through an open discussion on what themes and imagery speak to individuals. This subjective approach aims to reflect the transformation of imagery through participants’ readings, highlighting both the challenge and freedom that underpin the critical enquiry of the historian. Furthermore, this multi-vocal approach to artistic research can be seen as a move towards transforming society through the fostering of critical and creative everyday reading and awareness. Therefore, challenging the singular voice of the historian through disrupting perceptions and encouraging research communities.

Participants are invited to ‘play’ and investigate, creating a collage page of clippings, drawings and writings. These pages will be collated into a book, as a new space in which to map connections between readings, repositioning the authority of the historian’s voice.

So, off to Riga it is! Watch this space!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *