Tuesday, May 21, 2013

See Red Women's Workshop: feminist posters from SE5/SE17

See Red Women's Workshop was a feminist screenprinting collective based in Walworth/Camberwell from around 1974.

According to Jess Baines: 'See Red's activities included the designing and printing of their own posters and calendars, as well as taking on design and print commissions for other organisations. See Red developed a range of feminist posters that attempted to address different issues ranging from the domestic isolation of mothers and unethical marketing by pharmaceutical giants to racism in Britain and solidarity with anti-imperialist struggles abroad. The posters were distributed internationally both from the workshop and through alternative bookshops. They also gave talks and demonstrations on screen-printing. The group varied in number; overall 25 women worked at See Red during its lifetime. After working from home in the early days, the collective progressed to renting shared space with Women in Print, at 16a Iliffe Yard, off Crampton St, London, SE17. The workshop was initially run without grant-aid, and the women contributed up to three working days a week to the workshop while earning a living elsewhere. In the early 1980s the collective was supported by funding from the Greater London Council. This facilitated a move to new premises at 90 Camberwell Road, SE5. Women in Print (an offset litho collective) moved with them but folded in 1986'. See Red closed in the early 1990s.

See Red in action at Iliffe Yard in the early 1980s

Ink Now: Posters, Collectives and Art

Recently there has been a revival of interest in the work of See Red. There was an exhibition at the Institute of Contemporary Arts last year, and next month members of the collective will be taking part in 'Ink Now: Posters, Collectives and Art', an event at London Met. 'Ink Now' will be 'An evening of presentations and discussion about how posters have been used in different radical, political, feminist, collective and community settings. By looking at specific historical moments we hope to open up a conversation about radical ideas and collective practices in the contemporary art context'.

WHEN: 6.30-8.30pm, Tuesday 4th June. Refreshments available from 6pm
WHERE: Lecture Theatre CR100, London Met University, 41-47 Commercial Road, London, E1 1LA

Suzy Mackie and Pru Stevenson, founding members of the See Red Women's Workshop Collective, which produced silkscreened feminist and community posters from c1974 up to the early 1990s, will show poster images and talk about why and how the collective was set up and the first 8 years.

Jess Baines (LSE/LCC) will be presenting her research on the history of late 20th century radical and community printing collectives and co-ops in the UK - including: poster collectives, service printers, typesetters and print resource centres. Jess is also a former Member of the See Red Womens Workshop

Dean Kenning (Kingston University and CSM) will be talking about the recent show at Portman Gallery: ‘Poster Production’ where he worked with art students from Morpeth School, Central St Martins and ReadingUniversity, and with several contemporary artists to produce posters based on different themes and according to various methods of working.

Rachael House and Jo David from artist run Space Station Sixty-Five on posters and archives in the art space, including poster-related shows such as 'Shape and Situate'. 'Rachael will also talk about her recent exhibitions 'Feminist Disco' and 'A Space of Potential' which draw on feminist cultures'

Chair: Anne Robinson (senior lecturer at London Metropolitan University and former member of See Red Womens Workshop). Admission free and all welcome, but please register at: http://inknowposters.eventbrite.com

See Red anti-National Front poster, 'Don't let racism divide us'
The photograph used was taken in the anti-NF  'Battle of Lewisham' in August 1977

1 comment:

bmh2607 said...

I never thought I'd see this poster again! That is me - the white woman with long dark hair to the right and front.

I would have raised a fist, but my arms are full of crisps and lemonade. I gave a small boy money to go to the back of a closed pub and buy us some refreshments.

Not long after this photograph was taken, the police penned a section of the march (mostly women) and charged it on horseback.