Audio – Stuart Hall Library, INIVA talk
From the Talk and book signing on 16th October
Click here for Helen Couchman’s talk:
Click here for the Q & A: (>>30:20)
Click Here for all the Audio from the event and a description of the participants work.
Many thanks to our presenters for their stimulating talks, and to the audience for a lively discussion. Dr.Caroline Bressey and Dr.Gemma Romain of the Equiano Centre were joined by Tate Britain curator Emma Chambers to talk about their research for the Tate Britain display ‘Spaces of Black Modernism’. The artworks were selected to reveal that the artistic community in Britain during the inter-war years included artists and models from diverse ethnic backgrounds. It was revealing to hear how these artists played an active and influential role in the art scene of the time, particularly in London. The curators have brought to light the trans-national exchange between artists of the pre-war era. It was fascinating to see the artworks, don’t miss the display!
Artist Helen Couchman described her project and book ‘Workers’- photographs of Chinese labourers at the Beijing Olympic site. These migrant workers often spend years many miles away from home. Helen spoke about the nature of the exchange between herself as the photographer and the labourers. She gave each one a high-quality print of the photograph, which many workers sent back to their families. The photographs enabled them to express a pride in what they had constructed. Helen then talked about her other book ‘ Mrs.West’s Hats’; a photo-essay in self-portraiture and identity. A series of photographs show Helen trying on her late grandmother’s many hats. The photographs capture her expression at the instant she saw herself in a mirror. The series elicits responses about family, memory and sense of self. Visit Helen’s website to see her photographs.
Many interesting connections between the two presentations emerged over the course of the evening including; identity, portraiture, ways of connecting with the past and with others.