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Relating Narratives – A Common World of Women

Recalling the practice of feminist groups in 1970s Italy, Relating Narratives is an exhibition and public programme of events, about the way in which women look to other women to mediate their relationship with the world.

Claudette Johnson,  Ink Study (Head) , 2017, Photo: Andy Keate, Courtesy of the artist & Hollybush Gardens

Claudette Johnson, Ink Study (Head), 2017, Photo: Andy Keate, Courtesy of the artist & Hollybush Gardens

EXHIBITION: 8th September – 30th September 2018,  Mon - Sat,  12-6pm

OPENING: Friday 7th September, 6.30pm

SCREENINGS & EVENTS: Full Details Below


Barby Asante, Chila Kurmari Burman, Rose Gibbs, Chantal Joffe, Claudette Johnson, Sisters of Jam, Marcia Michael, Kate Millett, Ishbel Myerscough, Rosalind Nashashibi, Yvonne Rainer, Rose Wylie & Nicole Wittenberg.

This exhibition will explore the way in which women look to other women - friends, sisters, mothers, writers, poets - to construct an alternative register within which to situate themselves and mediate their relationship with the world.

The works in this exhibition recall the practice of feminist groups in 1970s Italy where women sought to generate, en-gender and construct a symbolic community, a genealogy of women. They did this both through the friendships within the group as well as the reading and the re-reading of writings, thoughts, words and insights of other women. Many of these groups emerged out of the adult education courses provided by the state for factory workers and housewives who in many instances had left school very young.

The new friendships were set apart from the women’s work and domestic spheres: these groups gave them the freedom not to be defined in relation to their husbands, their children, but in relation to other women and their writing. This enabled the women to construct new frames of reference within which to define and situate their identities.

This exhibition draws together a number of artists whose practice takes on a similar task –that of representing the women in their worlds, that of building a common world of women. A public programme of talks, screenings and readings will accompany the exhibition.

Screenings & Events:

Screening and Q and A with Rosalind Nashashibi and Laura Mulvey

Vivian’s Garden (2017) – Rosalind Nashashibi

12th September, Doors 7pm, Tickets £5


Women Writing Women Reading

Alice Albinia, Sophie Collins, Emily Berry, Bridget Minamore & Nell Dunn

20th September, Doors 6.30pm, Free


Declaration of Independence Workshop with Barby Asante 

23rd September,

Workshop Times: 2:00 - 5:00pm, Free (Booking Essential)

Public Performance 7.30pm, Free, All welcome


Screening Programme I

It Takes A Million Years to be a Woman (2011) - Sisters of Jam

Three Lives (1971) – Kate Millett

29th September, Doors 3:30pm, Tickets £5 


Screening Programme II

Scuola Senza Fine (1983) –  Adriana Monti

Privilege (1990) – Yvonne Rainer

29th September, Doors 6:30pm, Tickets £5


‘The paradox of woman, a being that is at once captive and absent in discourse, constantly spoken of but of itself inaudible or inexpressible, displayed as spectacle and yet unrepresented, a being whose existence and specificity are simultaneously asserted and denied, negated and controlled.’[1]

 ‘The female image with which man has interpreted woman has been his own invention”[2]

Curated by Rose Gibbs with support from The Art Council England


[1] Teresa de Laurentis Sexual Difference and Feminist Thought in Italy page 12

[2] Manifesto Rivolta Femminile, 1970