This Stuff Matters, the discussion forum and exhibiting group of four women sculptors from London and the North that I am a member of is holding a two day pop-up show and Artists’ Q&A in October.
‘We Are Still Here – Four Women Making Abstract Sculpture’
16th and 17th October 2021
Yorkshire Artspace Exchange Place Studios
Artists Q&A, chaired by Meghan Goodeve
Saturday 16th October 2021
2.00 – 3.30
Followed by informal meet the artists with refreshments
3.30 – 5.30.
The other artists in This Stuff Matters are:
Jill Gibson @jillgibsonartist
Alexandra Harley @harleysculpture
Sheila Vollmer @sheilavollmer
Since This Stuff Matters was formed in 2019, the main realisation that has come from the group’s discussions has been the similar positions each of the members found themselves as women sculptors, working in a particular niche of contemporary art. All four sculptors, who have been working and exhibiting since 1980s, are died-in-the-wool feminists, although they don’t make art that would be considered to be about feminist issues. They have all avoided being seen as Women Sculptors, preferring to imagine that making art is by its nature an endeavour of equality. As young women they believed that things would change but now realise later in their careers that abstract sculpture, with a few notable exceptions, is still mostly a male domain. They feel that as women sculptors they do bring a different perspective to making and showing abstract sculpture and that this should be celebrated. They find that the support they give each other is extremely valuable in maintaining their practices and self-belief!
The artists have invited Meghan Goodeve to chair a discussion before an audience to investigate three questions:
What is the relevance of contemporary abstraction in an art world which is focussed on image-based, issue-based and socially engaged art practice?
What, if anything, is it that women artists can bring to abstract sculpture, that is different to men?
How do we see the future of our work and of other women making abstract sculpture?
Meghan Goodeve (she/ her) is a curator and educator with ten years’ experience in integrated programming, specialising in artistic projects which affect social change. Her work is concerned with supporting artists at all stages of their career, with particular attention to addressing representation around race, gender, sexuality, class, and disability. She currently leads the Freelands Artist Programme, steering a UK-wide programme supporting emerging artists. Previously, she was the Engagement Curator for Yorkshire Sculpture International where she helped establish a major £1.5 million international sculpture festival in 2019, with four of the UK’s leading art galleries, curating an international commission in the public realm, public programming, an artists’ development programme, and artist-led education commissions. She has held roles at The Hepworth Wakefield, The Courtauld Gallery, and National Gallery. She is also a freelance curator delivering projects specialising in social practice and working with early career artists. She is on the board of Yorkshire Art Space, Sheffield, an advisor for Threshold Sculpture, Leeds, and a governor for a SEND school in Sheffield.