There will be an exhibition of posters and a discussion about a 1970s women’s art collective tonight (Friday 26 June) as part of Fitzrovia Festival 2015.
Set up in the mid-1970s the See Red Women’s Workshop produced posters to challenge chauvinist views of women.
Three former art students met through an ad placed in Red Rag — a radical feminist magazine — asking for women interested in forming a group to look at and combat the negative images of women in advertising and the media.
See Red grew out of that meeting and a collective was formed producing silk screened posters for the women’s liberation movement as well as for radical community groups and others on request.
Their first workshop was a squat in Camden Town but after a brick was thrown through the window, See Red moved to South London and eventually to premises off the Walworth Road.
These were derelict and all the renovations were carried out by the collective or by women in the building trades. The workshop was however attacked on several occasions by the National Front.
Two of the founding members have died — Julia Franco in 1974 and Sarah Jones in 2007. Now surviving founder members Suzy Mackie and Pru Stevenson, plus later members Jess Baines and Anne Robinson, have recently got together working on the See Red Women’s Workshop website and have other plans.
“The posters explored the personal experiences of women and the oppression of housework, child care, everyday sexism, racism, unequal pay and discrimination. All designs were worked on collectively with no one individual taking the credit,” they say.
On display tonight and this weekend will be rare posters produced by the collective between 1974 and 1983, and a discussion led by two of the founders of the group.
Exhibition of original posters: 6pm to 9pm, Thursday 25 June to Friday 26 June, and 10am to 4pm Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 June 2015. Discussion led by two founder members: 7pm Friday 26 June 2015. Free. Fitzrovia Neighbourhood Centre, 39 Tottenham Street, Fitzrovia, London W1T 4RX.
Full list of Fitzrovia Festival events.