Touchstones, Rochdale, Greater Manchester 2016

Storytelling, Family and Archive

Saturday 3rd September 2016 (11am-4pm)

‘Tall Tales’ is a national touring programme bringing together the work of 17 international women artists who employ the playful use of storytelling techniques in the making of their work. The exhibition launched in London at Freud Museum London, Swiss Cottage Gallery & Library and the Tavistock Clinic in April 2016. It opened in Touchstones Rochdale, Lancashire in July and will then tour to Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL) in Scotland in October.

The group exhibition, curated by wewioraprojects features FTN co-ordinators, Nicky Bird’s book works ‘Tracing Echoes’ (2001) and ‘Red Herrings’ (1998), together with Jacqueline Butler’s photographs ‘On Hearing of his Illness I realised there were plants that needed watering’ (2014) and her quilt piece, ‘Mapping Household Management’ (2014).

This closing event began with a tour of the exhibition with the Tall Tales Curators, alongside Jacqueline Butler and Nicky Bird.


Nicky Bird


Jacqueline Butler

This was followed by an afternoon workshop ‘Storytelling, Family and Archive’ which explored re-mediations of family history in work by fellow FTN co-ordinators Lizzie Thynne and Suze Adams.


Lizzie Thynne introduced and played her sound-led work ‘Voices in Movement’ (2014), which draws on life histories from ‘Sisterhood and After: The Women’s Liberation Oral History Project’, funded by The Leverhulme Trust. She interweaves two accounts of troubled girlhoods by pioneer woman builder, Barbara Jones, and historian Barbara Taylor, and counterpoints these with fleeting images of found footage and music by Ed Hughes. The work highlights the sonic and affective dimensions of the women’s stories and the conditions of their telling.


Lizzie Thynne

Using recollections from her mother’s cousins (all now in their late 80s/90s) with selected photographs from the family archive, Suze Adams work shares fragments of much-treasured (and oft repeated) family tales. These oral testimonies reflect times past in places largely unchanged today, the deep time of geology contrasting sharply with human mortality. Unfortunately Suze was unable to attend, so fellow FTN co-ordinator, Sally Waterman read out her text and chaired the feedback discussion on Suze’s recent video, ‘Ten Minutes of Rain’.

On the road to Ardmore_29aug53


Sally Waterman leading feedback session on Suze’s work