Award-winning artist and Wasps tenant Rhona Taylor’s exhibition Memoirs of a Spacewoman will mark the life and work of writer Naomi Mitchison (1897–1999), who spent the many years living in Carradale (east Kintyre), where she was deeply involved in local life and the politics of the small fishing communities of the Clyde. Taylor has used Mitchison’s work as a focal point to encourage discussion around the historical relationship between the Clyde’s rural and urban areas, collecting responses and stories about the history of this relationship and how it might develop in the future. This research and development will culminate with a collective sculptural installation hosted at The Briggait – the city’s former fish market, and now a working home for artists and creators. Conversations and images conjured in the workshop will inform the sculptural installation Memoirs of a Spacewoman, open on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 September in The Briggait’s 1873 Hall – the city’s former fish market for a century before closing in the 1970s.
Naomi Mitchison was a prolific novelist, poet and playwright whose body of work spans an entire century, encompassing an array of genres and formats, including children’s literature, feminist science fiction and a semiautobiographical play. Her work was ahead of its time, exploring themes of self-determinism and equality across gender, race and class. She worked as a farmer and fisherwoman, skippering her fishing boat, the Maid of Morvern, and wrote extensively about her experience of living and working within a small fishing community. The workshop will take place within the historical setting of The Briggait, which served as Glasgow’s largest fish market for over 100 years. Within the context of this setting, Rhona Taylor will encourage creative responses to themes prevalent within Mitchison’s life and work and consider her connection to the coastal fishing communities in which she lived.
Rhona Taylor is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work includes installations, painting, printmaking, photography and sculpture. Before studying painting at Edinburgh College of Art, she worked for several years as a newspaper journalist, and her artwork is strongly rooted in stories and storytelling. She makes work in response to particular places, often in areas that are perceived as remote or isolated, and the people that live and work there. She’s particularly drawn to the sea, coast, islands and the extreme reaches of land, and researching how those places influence and affect notions of identity.