Women Artists of the North East Library Exhibition

Group Exhibition at Workplace Foundation, Gateshead

22 June – 9 September 2018

Installation view including works by Phyllis Christopher, Tess Denman-Cleaver, Kate Liston and Harriet Sutcliffe at Workplace Foundation, Gateshead


Women Artists of the North East Library was an evolving exhibition and public programme presenting the work of women artists associated with the North East, exploring influence regionally and further afield.

Throughout the Great Exhibition of the North 2018 the library was in residence at Workplace Gateshead and available to the public as an evolving exhibition, library, and platform for events and discussions. The project aimed to use the premise of presenting artists work as an opportunity to explore the act of building such a library; In what ways do artists make work in relation to, or with, other artists? How can a library of women artists associated with a region, exist for a community? How do we find our role models? Can archival strategies contribute to intergenerational conversations and art making?

Building on previous public and private events initiated by the library, which include open library days, city walks and a one day residency at BALTIC Library and Archive, the project in Gateshead, for the first time, included exhibited work by artists at varying points in their careers alongside works by key historical figures. Throughout the project, artists and the public were invited to nominate women artists and donate material that could be added to the Library.

The project opened with works from Phyllis ChristopherTess Denman-CleaverKate Liston and Harriet Sutcliffe, and works by Sophie Buxton, Jade Sweeting and Janina Sabaliauskaite and Nicola Singh were added throughout the course of the summer.At the mid point of the project at Workplace key elements of the library were repositioned in the parallel exhibition The Everyday Political at CGP Gallery in London. Curated by George Vasey, The Everyday Political brought together artists and art collectives from the North East of England. It expanded on Holly Argent’s Women Artists of the North East Library exhibition alongside new work including audio, text, painting and photography.

Exhibition at Workplace curated by Holly Argent

Public Programme

To coincide with the library’s first exhibition, with work by Phyllis Christopher, Tess Denman-Cleaver, Kate Liston and Harriet Sutcliffe, a six week public programme at Workplace Foundation expanded on ideas brought about through conversations with the artists; exploring more broadly ideas of collective readership, methods of feminist practice and regional artistic legacies.

Louisa Hodgson: A Curator’s Perspective – with Becky Gee Saturday 4 August 2018

Becky Gee, curator of Louisa Hodgson: A New Perspective at the Hatton Gallery talks about her research into Tynemouth born artist, Louisa Hodgson.

Film Screening: Veronica 4 Rose (1982) by Melanie Chait – 21 August 2018

Selected from Cinenova’s Archive, Veronica 4 Rose follows the lives of 16-23 year old lesbians in Newcastle, Liverpool and London.

Lesbian Semiotics – new work by Jade Sweeting and Janina Sabaliauskaite – 15-21 August 2018

Jade Sweeting and Janina Sabaliauskaite bring a collaborative work into the exhibition. ‘Key Study 1’ marks the start of a project in response to Hal Fischer’s photographic study Gay Semiotics (1977) and the 1992 documentary Framing Lesbian Fashion by Karen Everett.

A Performative Lecture with Harriet Sutcliffe – 1 September 2018

Expanding on the work Harriet Sutcliffe’s ‘Archival-Constructions’ (2018) at Workplace, Harriet gives a performative lecture about her current and ongoing research.

Artist talk with Sam Ainsley – 6 September 2018

Talk by artist and educator Sam Ainsley (b. North Shields) about her practice and many years of experience working in arts education.

A Montage – Sophie Buxton in residence 6– 12 August 2018

Sophie Buxton brings her studio practice into the exhibition ‘Women Artists of the North East Library’ at Workplace.

Zone Gallery – Talk with curator Michelle Hirschhorn-Smith – Saturday 11 August 2018

An introduction to the work of Zone Gallery (Newcastle, 1992-1998) with Michelle Hirschhorn-Smith, curator at the gallery between 1995-98.

She Riffs –  A performance event with Tess Denman-Cleaver, Nicola Singh and Sophie Buxton – 23 August 2018

She Riffs brings three artists together to present re-worked versions of performance and drawing.

Film Screening: Living Organism with Kate Liston and Tess Denman-Cleaver and Holly Argent – 30 August 2018 at Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle

Expanding on the Listen’s work in Women Artists of the North East Library at Workplace, Liston presents her film ‘Treatment’ in a lineup of works that have made an impression on her practice.

Eyeliner: a film screening programmed by filmmaker Cecilia Stenbom and Holly Argent – 3 September 2018

Ranging from documentary to gallery installation, a film screening devised of women filmmakers associated with the North East of England.

Closing Party – 8 September 2018

Closing party to the Summer of Women Artists of the North East Library at Workplace Foundation with DJ Helen Collard.