We will be holding an exhibition in November. Put the date in your diaries: 8th Nov-13th December 2017. Anna has been busily making the work that will be displayed there.
Creating work in collaboration with Dr Isabel Davis for Conceiving Histories has proven an exciting journey. The works result from an on-going conversation with Isabel on selected case studies. Over the last year and a half we have focused our attention on four case studies: Mary I’s hysterical pregnancies (1555-7); a 1793 fashion for a pad to simulate pregnancy; an 1826 idea for an Experimental Conception Hospital and mid-20th-century frog pregnancy tests.
The starting point is most often one or a series of archival documents written at the time of the case study. The original words, the type or handwriting, stamps that appear on these documents have become an essential source of inspiration. The material aspect, the look and feel of paper or vellum, and the idea of history are key components in my creative process. The intention is to put an emphasis on the source materials, the importance of the archive and the journey the documents have made to reach us. Then, there are other inspirational elements that have had a constant presence in my practice like anatomical illustration and costumes.
At the beginning of the collaboration I worked on these case studies individually. Lately the process has also been about creating bridges between the case studies and the stories they tell, considering ‘unpregnancy’ as a journey from the past to the present and inscribing women today into that history.
The result is a variety of different pieces, some sculptures made of paper, textiles pieces, photographs and drawings. Echoes of shape, words, object or colors work across these different media.
The selection of images featured in this post show the work in progress in my studio during Bow Arts annual open studios in June.