9 – 15 June 2012
The project aims in particular to celebrate the Pioneers Women’s Hall and the service that it’s community of women perform as well as generally recognizing the (unpaid) work that women do, and have done over the years, in support of local, even national and international, women’s issues and communities.
Students and staff from both the Textiles Department (Needle Exchange) and the Print Studio (P lab) at the Dunedin School of Art were involved in planning events and producing work for exhibition planned for a two week period. Students involved in this project have researched the history of the Hall and looked at the establishment of the Women’s Movement in New Zealand as well as internationally. Feminism during the 1960s, 70s and 80s in regard to women’s position within the Visual Arts was of particular interest to the group, the majority of whom are young women. The title of the project, “INDIGNATION!”, is found colourfully in the history of the organization and is used here as a slogan to incite a passion for engagement in feminist politics in what might be considered a post-feminist situation. That we still see women disadvantaged in a wide range of ways is less ironic than scandalous.
The first week of the project engaged in group actions that reflect upon the ways in which women typically come together to work collectively towards realizing their goals. This involved a planned series of actions in and around the Hall including cleaning the hall, performing a leafleteering action throughout the centre of the city, producing and placing white camellia leis on public monuments throughout the town in honour of Kate Sheppard and documenting these activities for the exhibition. In the second week the kitchen facilities at the Hall were utilised to produce fresh baking each morning enticing and welcoming people into the exhibition. Baking is one of the most typical of ways in which women have supported community events. A regular weekly cake stall was held prior to the exhibition to raise funds for materials and activities. Thought provoking, collaborative artworks were installed throughout the building showcasing the forthright spirit of those involved with the Pioneer Women’s Hall.
The senior students from the PLab involved in this exhibition were Tom Ellison, Christian McNab, James Stringer, Natalie Wardell, Eleanor O’Neill, Julia Rouch, Greg Thomas, David Richardson, Becky Cameron, Kim Brash and exchange student from the Netherlands Irmgard Goud. Production assistance and support from Neil Emmerson, Marion Wassenaar, Kiri Mitchell and Victoria Bell.