Meet the Artist at Southwell Workhouse

Southwell Workhouse and Infirmary
Thursday, 10 August, 2023 to Friday, 11 August, 2023
Elizabeth (detail)

Meet the Artist at Identity exhibition for Midlands Textile Forum at Southwell Workhouse & Infirmary, Southwell, Nottinghamshire - I'll be talking about my inspiration for "Elizabeth" and demonstrating my work.

My work is inspired by the story of Elizabeth Ullyatt. She came to the Workhouse in January 1860 in her last month of pregnancy as her mother had thrown her out of the house on discovering her pregnancy. This was my starting point for thinking about the effect of the workhouse on its inmates. On my visit last year I’d taken lots of photographs of the walls and floors, taking inspiration from their colours and textures, and these came to mind when I started developing the piece. The way that the building imposed itself on the inmates, blanking out their sense of self and self-worth, resulted in a “dress” that resembles the Workhouse floor that the women had to wash and clean.