• Counterculture Crochet - Cosy

Robins, Freddie, 2012, Conference or Workshop, Counterculture Crochet - Cosy at Counterculture Crochet, Goldsmiths, University of London, London, UK, 6 July 2012. (Unpublished)

Abstract or Description:

A paper based around a selection of my own knitted works, Knitted Homes of Crime (2002), How to make a piece of work when you’re too tired to make decisions (2004), It Sucks (2005) and the knitted banner series (2000 – 2005). The paper reflected on my use of knitting to explore and subvert the pervasive issues of the domestic, motherhood, gender inequality and the craft/fine art divide. Issues that are still pertinent over thirty years after Su Richardson was producing her crochet and mixed media works for "Feministo: Portrait of the Artist as a Housewife (1975 – 1977)", ICA, London, 1977.

The paper was part of an event entitled, "Counterculture Crochet", organised by the Women's Art Library/Make to accompany the exhibition, "Burnt Breakfast and other works by Su Richardson", curated by Alexandra M. Kokoli at The Constance Howard Gallery and Special Collections Reading Room at Goldsmiths, University of London 6th July - 9 September 2012.

"Simultaneously celebrating, exploiting and subverting the connotations of feminine craft skills such as crochet and embroidery, Su Richardson’s home-made objects explore domesticity, femininity and their mutual implication from a distinctly feminist point of view.

The exhibition, ‘Burnt Breakfast and other works’, includes the iconic crocheted ‘full English’, in which the womanly skill of crochet is used against the grain, to express in a humorous manner a growing dissatisfaction with patriarchal gender roles, and also to challenge the hierarchical division between art and craft.

“Cooking and crochet cancel each other out, making this Breakfast into a mockery of more than one aspect of housewifely duties,” explains the curator Alexandra Kokoli.

To mark the opening of the event to the public, the College hosted ‘Counterculture Crochet’; a Q&A with the artist, presentations on the work and its contexts by invited speakers Hazel Frizell, Janis Jefferies and Freddie Robins, and an open discussion with the audience (6 July, New Academic Building, Goldsmiths.)

Su Richardson’s work marks the intersection of feminist aesthetic, philosophical and political preoccupations. This exhibition reveals Su Richardson to be a key precursor to the recent and fast-expanding reclamation of craft techniques in fine art practice, exemplified in the work of Freddie Robins, Tracey Emin, Craig Fisher and Gillian Cooper among many others."


ArtistRichardson, Su
Curator of an exhibitionKokoli, Alexandra M
Curator of an exhibitionLonghurst, Sem
ProgrammerGreenan, Althea
SpeakerJefferies, Janis
SpeakerFrizell, Hazel
PhotographerRichardson, Susan
Copyright holderRichardson, Susan
Subjects: Other > Social studies > L200 Politics > L210 Political Theories > L216 Feminism
Creative Arts and Design > W100 Fine Art
Creative Arts and Design > W700 Crafts > W710 Fabric and Leather Crafts > W711 Needlecraft
School or Centre: School of Design
Funders: Goldsmiths, University of London, Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, IDEAS Research Institute
Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2012 17:50
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2018 15:44
URI: https://researchonline.rca.ac.uk/id/eprint/1234
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