Saturday, May 06, 2006


Iris is the Research centre within the Faculty of Arts, Media and Design at Staffordshire University with a focus on:
  • the initiation of conferencing, publishing, exhibiting and educational projects within the field of contemporary women’s’ photographic practice, and
  • broadening access to the medium through books, exhibitions and educational activities.

Today was the launch of an exhibition curated by IRIS called Masquerade, at the Potteries Museum and Art Gallery. Masquerade brings together the work of 7 women photographers from Britain and the USA, and features all kinds of contemporary portraits. The show also compares photographs in Masquerade with paintings from the Museum's collections.

The show has already been in London and Birmingham. It is heartening to see an exhibition of national significance led by Staffordshire/ Stoke-on-Trent women and organisations.

There are some challenging pieces - one artist photographed her mother in her last months with Alzheimer's. The 6 portraits of women with moustaches are truly beautiful. Apparently when the exhibition was in the MAC in Brimingham there were complaints about these portraits including "disgusting". Why do openly hairy women offend people so much?

Masquerade is on until the 9th July. Get there if you can.

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