As part of my installation, We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, at CCA Glasgow, I am running a series of reading groups through March at Glasgow Women’s Library to discuss some of these books and the ideas they explore. The groups will focus largely on the titles produced by Lollipop Power in the Chapel Hill area of North Carolina in the 1970s. The groups are facilitated by Dr Elsa Richardson.
1970s feminist children’s books sought to present stories that would broaden the possibilities for children and reflect a world for kids who wanted to grow up equal.
We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live reading group takes place on Thursdays 9th, 16th, 23rd, 30th March, 5.30pm to 7pm
We’ll reflect on lead female characters; representations of fathers, grandparent carers and single, working mothers; and ask what was radical about children’s literature from the 1970s and how it can be today? Find all the sessions and book your place on the Glasgow Women’s Library website via this link.
Disclaimer: I am trying to sell you stuff in this post:
Still wondering what happened in the US election? Distinguished sociologist Arlie Hochschild (The Second Shift; Emotional Labour) spent 5 years researching the Tea Party movement when she became ‘alarmed at the increasingly hostile split in [the US] nation’ between the two main political parties. Taking their concerns seriously and with empathy, Hochschild explores what she calls the Great Paradox: why do people on the conservative right who need the help of federal government most, despise it so much? The result is Strangers in Their Own Land, nominated for a National Book Award and now on the NYT bestseller list. You can pick one up here. And while you’re over at Amazon, do you have a budding sociologist in your family? If so, be sure to check out Coleen the Question Girl, a children’s book which Hochschild wrote in 1973 when her first son was young. It was one of the first titles published by the Feminist Press. Featuring the protagonist Coleen, who questions inequality in her hometown, the story is light-hearted and whimsical. Andrea Francke and I worked with Hochschild over the past year to update and revise the text and commission new illustrations in this 2016 edition which we have recently published. Our updated Coleen is still asking questions, and still trying to make the world a better place. Available in paperback on Amazon and in hardcopy on Blurb. Happy reading.
I’m making a new work for CCA Glasgow, looking at 1970s non-sexist, multi-racial kids books made by feminist publishing collectives, particularly Lollipop Power who were in Chapel Hill in the early 70s. If everyone had been as ahead of the game as these women, maybe we wouldn’t be in the mess we’re in. They’re all nearly 70 now, and they’re still awesome. This is a back cover from The Sheep Book, by Carmen Goodyear, 1972.
I’ll be in conversation with artist Rose Gibbs at Tate Britain on Saturday 18 June, discussing the legacies of second wave feminism, labour, and care, particularly in response to the Jo Spence display as part of Conceptual Art in Britain. Event sold out, wait list being taken.
As part of our commission with the Serpentine Galleries, Andrea Francke and I presented an artist’s talk at the gallery on 24 October 2015 which discussed the project, a partnership with the Portman’s Centre for Early Years Education, and the interrogation of early years education for a collaborative, research-based art practice.
Critic Jennifer Thatcher writes a feature about mothers in the UK art world in the July August 2015 issue of Art Monthly, and focuses on my projects Crib Notes and the campaign for childcare re-instatement at the RCA.
(“Mother and Child Divided,” Jennifer Thatcher, Art Monthly, 388, July-Aug 2015, pp. 11-14)