Woman’s Work is a partnership project between AirSpace Gallery and The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. Woman’s Work seeks to make visible the hidden and unsung labour carried out by women in the home, the workplace and public life, and in particular seeks to redress the imbalance in history and the arts, where work made by women has been undervalued, or simply not recognised.
Following on from some of the themes touched upon, but not fully explored in The Artist and The City Exhibition, 2015, Woman's Work is again curated by Anna Francis (AS) and Jean Milton (PMAG) and will be exhibited concurrently and consecutively at AirSpace until November 5th and through to November 2017 at PMAG.
The year-long project involves a number of exhibitions, events and activities
• An exhibition of contemporary works and new commissions at AirSpace Gallery, including printworks by the Senenfelder Group.
• 'Wonder Women' A complimentary exhibition by The Cultural Sisters and Letting in the Light, within the AirSpace Gallery Resource Room.
• ‘The Fabulous Ladies of Stoke,' - a year long, changing series of exhibits on the balcony at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.
• A Woman’s Tour of the Museum - a new way to navigate the museum and its collection, including some newly commissioned works and featuring a rehang of the Art Gallery at the Potteries Museum from January 2017, to give a gender balance of female artists, and to bring out some of the amazing works by women from within the museum's collection.
• The development of a Mobile Woman’s Potteries Museum –a mobile structure housing documentation of all activity and exhibits from the Woman’s Work project. This mobile exhibition and resource space and resource can, at the end of the project, travel across the city.
• An extra special Community Night Walk in the form of A Woman's Walking Tour of Stoke developed by Penny Vincent and Professor Karen Rodham, and planned to coincide with International Women's Day, March, 2017.
Joanne Ayre Residency
BCB artist Joanne Ayre presents a series of collections of objects and ephemera for her year-long Woman’s Work Residency. The beginnings of an exploration; the first glimpses into the lives of three named women who worked in the Potteries. Unpicking the visual elements that make their work identifiable and illustrating the first strands of their individual stories.
The pieces reflect upon what information is not there as much as what is. How did Enid Seeney feel when she stopped designing? When was Kate Bruce first allowed to sign her work? Did Jessie Tait find as much satisfaction in the drawing of a design as in the tube-lining of her own thrown ware? These pieces are full of questions that apply not only to their subjects but to other women who played a role in the production line; over the course of the year I hope to uncover some of the stories behind the objects that were created by women in the Potteries, past and present.
Born in Stoke on Trent, Jo studied ceramics in Cardiff and at the Royal College of Art and is resident artist at the BCB studio at Spode Works. Her own practice has been invigorated and enlivened by establishing opportunities for others to make in clay and new ways of working are emerging through this immersive activity. Reflections upon traditions, collaboration, anonymity, collective endeavour and the pleasure of making have become a focus for playful, yet thoughtful exploration.