Finders Keepers. Women artists at Conway Hall


We gathered, we self-described art lovers from the Claremont Project in Islington, at Conway Hall on a bright sunny morning when the buses were delayed by half hours due to Kingsway’s road works mayhem. The place has a 1950s air about it not having been modernised since 1929 apparently and the first art on the first wall is 1950 in every way; portraits of the artist’s friends as children sixty odd years ago. very white, very girl, boy, ribbons in hair and seen and not heard.

What a building, with odd staircases dotted all over the show and for today’s exhibition bits and pieces stuck in any nook and cranny, on any wrought iron stair case. One piece of work had been pinched. It was tempting, I guess, sitting unglassed against a window and there’s no security to talk of, only a woman caretaker in her coat in her cubby-hole on the phone all the time.

The art work is scattered, a reminder of the art exhibitions at Claremont where only the able can reach. Nothing grabbed me. I loved the installation “Sedan Chair” by Leonie Cronin. it was clever. I found the hairy objects and the hairy hare downstairs spooky and I loved the tiny jewellery box. Now if you’re gonna pinch anything there’s the bling. I appreciated the collage by our guide, artist, Pat Keay, but only because I read the blurb in the pocket-sized brochure.  I like references to proper poetry (yep I said  it), for instance to William Blake’s rape poem. (I am purposely being un T.S Eliot by not referencing by their names a world of other stuff).

There’s no point in going in a group to such unknown art because the spoilt 1950 brats who grew into snobby art exhibition goers don’t relate to each other.  They interrupt each other, have no idea about greeting other people and are not interested in any views except their own. I think it’s bad manners to question artists about their reasons for and the mechanics of their work. No-one would dare ask the old masters so why ask the current mistresses? I thought the offered discussion after our forays into basements and almost up to the roof of Conway Hall would elicit some insights into people’s reactions to the art which had come from oestrogen fired souls. No, the exhibition was just another one on a tick off list.

hare “Harebrained” by Jackie Brown

for IWD woolenscraft“Bringing Up Boys” by Laura Moreton-Griffiths


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