Beth Collar exploring the library; radicals, heroins & fragments of monuments

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Today was the first research day for Wewioraprojects to catch up with current Tall Tales artist-in-residence Beth Collar. Currently working on-site at Glasgow Women’s Library, Beth has been researching the library collections and archives delving specifically into areas including suffragette publications and literature and discovering the initial but often overlooked campaigning for emancipation which pre-dated WW1.

It was also a chance to catch up with Glasgow Women Library’s Adele Patrick to discuss the plans for our proposed first leg of a touring exhibition programme – which would include the outcomes of Beth’s residency alongside 10-12 other female artists work which focus on narrative.

And what better way to finish a day of research and planning that by listening to a unique insight into the life of Mary Wollstonecraft – a radical and writer and mother of Author Mary Shelley. Listening from both a English Literature expert and a producer of large performance and film events, both Susan Manly (of St. Andrews University) and Dr Anna Birch (of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland) gave very different but equally insightful presentations about this remarkable woman’s life – one which admittedly I did not know enough about before hand.

I was particularly drawn by the fragment of texts by Wollstonecraft wrote,  entitled ‘Lessons’ which focused on conversations between a daughter and her mother. Enlightening and curiously contemporary texts on the role of a child, her relationship to others and her future role as an individual; a woman – even more outstanding when considered this was written in 1700’s.

With talks, workshops and such a fantastic library collection and archive for Beth to delve into this is set to a fully rewarding residency experience! Beth will be in-residence for one more week in August and then will return after a short break for a final week in the second half of September – so do keep an eye out for her!

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