Image: Goodbye Rug, 1980 c, Su Richardson.
Until 6 September, the Richard Saltoun gallery hosts an online exhibition of the work of textile artist Su Richardson, titled Wonderwoman. Richardson is a pioneer of British Feminist Art and contributor to two important art groups of the 1970s - the mail art project 'Feministo' and the feminist art collective 'Fenix.' The Postal Art Event started as a collaborative project to connect women in different cities through exchange of artworks in the post. It gradually evolved into the ground-breaking project 'Feministo' and a series of exhibitions and installations around the UK, including Portrait of the Artist as Housewife at the ICA, London in 1977. Richardson, quoted in Alexandra Kokoli’s The Feminist Uncanny (2010) explained,"Look, aren't there any housewives here who want to make some art, and who are fed up with all this fine art business? Aren't there any of you making things at home that you'd like to show each other?"
Image: Broken Heart Rug, 1982, Su Richardson
Known for her celebration, exploitation and subversion of traditional femininine skills such as crochet, Richardson revalidated craft as a fine art form and took feminist art of the '70s in different directions - fitting her practice around motherhood, work and household tasks. Her humorously subversive aesthetic anticipated contemporary countercultures and movements that combined craft with street art, such as yarn bombing and guerilla knitting, and was a precursor to a younger generation of female British artists who combined visual puns with domestic objects, including Sarah Lucas’ works Self Portrait with Fried Egg (1996) and Pauline Bunny (1997).
The online exhibition includes a virtual guided tour with commentary from Richardson about key pieces including Goodbye Rug, which incorporates First World War era handkerchiefs to symbolise men leaving home to go to war, and an audio interview with Kokoli. Entry is free via the website.
For more information and to view the exhibition visit www.richardsaltoun.com