The Inspiring London space is currently home to a display of photographic work by acclaimed photographer Dorothy Bohm. The display is called Women in Focus and the title is pretty self explanatory. We have lots of great work by Dorothy in the collection and this display gave us a good excuse to use her approach as inspiration for our own creativity.
To do this, we roped in the skills of the talented and wonderfully fizzy artist, Edori Fertig. Not only is Edori an artist in her own right but she also knows Dorothy. They met through her daughter, curator Monica Bohm-Ducen when Edori displayed her work in an exhibition about Jewish female identity called the Rubies and Rebels. So, a good person to introduce us to Dorothy. And also someone it’s great to be around. Edori is part of a collective called the Skip Sisters, so named because they make art from things they collect from skips. It’s so much fun. One thing she makes is oyster card wallets, and it was these we made ourselves on Tuesday.
Edori took us around the exhibition, and showed us that there are some key principals in all of Dorothy’s work. We were encouraged to find these in the work on show in Women in Focus. Firstly, the colour red.
Secondly, the voyeur, or onlooker. This is either a person, or something more subtle like a face on a poster, or within another image. In the photograph below the onlooker is almost hidden. Can you see her?
And finally, layers.
Can you see how these were interpreted and deconstructed in the response work below? That’s the high brow bit. The less high brow bit is how much fun we had making oyster card holders!
The above wallet uses material from our collection relating to the suffragette campaign. Making links to when women were fighting to be in focus, it reads (from right side to left):
The bearer of this ticket is called a Suffragette
Who tries her best the sexes to reverse
She claims to have a grievance
Which she’s nursing hard, you bet,
What a pity she has NOTHING ELSE to NURSE.
IT ALSO ENTITLES HER TO PASS OUT of her own house and neglect her domestic duties, leaving them to the tender mercies of anyone, while she is trying to get the management of the country INTO HER “CAPABLE HANDS” ? WHEN, HEAVEN HELP US!!
IT ALSO ENTITLES HER, at any moment, to ventilate her grievances, and to turn on HER GAS, but she must not SUFFER-A-JET to escape for more than six hours at a time for fear of asphyxiating her audience.
THIS SEASON TICKET ALSO ENTITLES HER to seize-on every opportunity to NURSE her grievances.