Material Histories

Held at the Porthmeor Studios in St Ives, this one-day seminar, convened by Helena Bonett and Rachel Smith, is the second of three annual seminars that the Barns-Graham Charitable Trust has assisted in sponsoring. (Materials, Movements, Encounters: Modernist Art Networks and St Ives, was the theme for 2014.) Eight short papers were presented on topics including:

Virginia Woolf: Inhabiting Fictions – Laura Smith, Tate St Ives is developing an exhibition centred on the literary practice of Virginia Woolf, which will explore her relationship to feminism, post-feminism and biography. Loosely structured in two parts the exhibition will consider the gendering of modernism from the dual perspectives of domesticity and landscape, and will use Woolf and her methodologies as a means of construction.

People Among Trees  – Karen Di Franco, Chelsea Space, uses the work of the archeologist Jacquetta Hawkes, in particular her groundbreaking fictional work, A Land (1951), as a starting point to examine the occupation of landscape (exterior or otherwise) for a group of female practitioners (writers, artists, poets, curators) including, Mary Butts; Annabel Nicolson; Monica Ross (in collaboration with Kate Walker and Su Richardson); Jill Bruce; Carlyle Reedy; and the writer and curator Lucy Lippard, amongst others.

Absent Others: Dorothy Richardson’s Letters from Cornwall – Leonie Shanks, Birkbeck College, spoke of the theme of connections between women across time and place facilitated through materials, objects and technologies, examining the relationship between Richardson’s epistolary correspondence and her cultural production.

Full details of the event with all the abstracts can be found here.