British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow
Project: Feminist Arts-Activism, New York: Collectives, Actions, Agitations
This project investigates the important contribution of activist collectives to the feminist art movement. Focusing on three groups based in New York in the 1960s-‘70s—Women Artists in Revolution, the Ad Hoc Committee of Women Artists, and Women Students and Artists for Black Art Liberation— it will chart the histories of collectives who fought for women’s access to the art world. An important part of this project is to reflect the collective nature of art-making at this moment and interrogate the impact of collaboration for artists working to address the gendered and racial biases of the art world. It will ask how artworks connect to progressive tactics and consider how collectivity impacted feminist arts practice.
My project builds on my existing research into feminist art, activism and the politics of objects. I completed my PhD at University College Cork on the work of Nancy Spero, focusing on the period of the late 1960s and early ‘70s. Arguing that Spero engaged with the metaphor of pain in order to affectively and viscerally connect the viewer to her political artworks, I closely examined her War series, Artaud works and Torture of Women. This research formed the basis of my book Pain and Politics in Postwar Feminist Art: Activism in the Work of Nancy Spero which is forthcoming from IB Tauris.