From 12 to 17 July this year, artists Hayley Field and Jacqueline Utley, from the collaborative project Obscure Secure, worked in residence at Towner.
Throughout the week, they shared their process exploring the visibility of women artists in collections, encouraging guests in the gallery to join in with their practice-based work and become active researchers.
The artists focused their research on the work of Kathleen Walne (1915-2011), who interested them as fellow painters from a position of care. Kathleen, who was represented by and worked for Lucy Wertheim as a young artist, also cared for her in old age.
Below, Hayley and Jacqueline share notes from their experience, uncovering how they began to learn more about Kathleen Walne and Lucy Wertheim through the personal stories of people who visited the Studio.
We were delighted to come across some unexpected information during our residency at Towner, which has helped us understand more about Kathleen Walne’s work through the living stories of people that remembered her and her practice.
Two women, Daisy and her mum, came into the residency studio by chance one day. They saw Christmas cards made by Kathleen displayed with other archive material.
They both recognised the cards immediately, as Daisy’s granddad had received many of them over the years. He had done building work in Kathleen’s house, helping to make racks in the attic for her paintings and building a storage cupboard for her art materials. Daisy’s mum shared her memories of visiting the house and of the beautiful garden Kathleen had created.