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12 Jan 2016

Exhibition: Ladies' Room – Julie Hill & Catherine Anyango, The Edwardian Cloakroom, Bristol

Ladies' Room
Crying Out Loud


29 Jan – 3 Feb 2016 Private View 28 Jan 2015, 6–9pm Open daily 12–6 pm or by appt (Performance by Julie Hill, 7 pm and at intervals throughout the exhibition

Julie Hill
+44 (0)7817 529 774

The Edwardian Cloakroom
Park Row, Woodland Road, Clifton
Bristol, BS1 5LS

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Following on from their 2012 exhibition Crying Out Loud, Ladies' Room is the second in a series of collaborative exhibitions by artists Julie Hill and Catherine Anyango. Together their complementary works in materials such as ceramics, cosmetics, smoke and mirrors use the context of the Edwardian Cloakroom as a mise-en-scene setting, drawing attention to feminine experience as independent, both spatially and intellectually, from the Gents. The exhibition will be accompanied by a linked performance, film screening and talk.

Julie Hill will create a series of linked works to form the narrative installation 'It Was …' using cosmetics, smoke and mirrors to imagine a feminine language formed from collected messages written by women in horror. For example, in Polanski's Repulsion in scenes of descending madness, Carol is seen scrawling an imaginary script onto glass panels. Or, in Argento's Deep Red a victim attempts to write a dying message in the condensation from billowing steam. The work continues ongoing research into feminine tropes in horror films and how female protagonists are often the first to perceive a latent threat or horror. This ties into generally held notions that women (along with the young and the insane) are more in touch with their psyches and able to access supernatural knowledge or realms. The work also references the French feminist idea of 'écriture féminine' or 'women's writing' (as originated by Cixous, Irigaray and Kristeva in the 1970s). The narrative will emerge from smoke and link across objects, performance and interventions in the gallery and beyond. There will be a screening of one of the films referenced in the work.

Catherine Anyango's work is a reaction to research into abortion and the Edwardian working class women. A woman had few rights and her identity under the 1834 Poor Law was bound up tightly with that of her family: 'with regard to the treatment of women … in this Report, the single independent woman is nowhere mentioned. The wife is throughout treated exactly as is the child, it is assumed that she follows her husband…'* Abortion, though illegal, was widespread, and a way in which women exercised control. Being illegal, however, it was often performed manually by other women with crochet hooks or knitting needles or with the use of abortifacient herbs. Catherine's installation Silent Companion uses a dummy board (a historic household decoration, popular from the 17–19th Century, of a painted cut out wooden figure), to reflect on the widespread practice of Edwardian abortion in a gentle and contemplative way. The dummy board will represent a woman knitting in the cloakroom amongst tiles hand painted with abortifacient herbs. Knitting is both a feminine act and references the use of needles in the procedures.
*(S & B Webb, English Poor Law Policy, 1910)


Crying Out Loud is an artistic collaboration by artists Catherine Anyango and Julie Hill that uses various platforms such as exhibitions, screenings and events to explore ideas of femininity in contemporary culture. They draw from the filmic notion of mise-en-scene to engage audiences with the representation of feminine categories in the home and on the screen. Their 2012 exhibition at Guest Projects London, explored notions of female hysteria and the melodramatic. It was supported by the Arts Council, and received a 4-star review in The Independent. Further information on the exhibition and events can be found at

Julie Hill works across different media, from photography and installation to writing, print and sculpture. Sources of fact and fiction act as a springboards
for installations or mise-en-scene that merge objects, texts and interventions
to question the divide between the objective and the subjective, the real and the imagined. She studied at Central Saint Martins and The Royal College of Art and has recently shown work at Sluice Art Fair, Sassoon Gallery, Dimensions Variable (Miami) and Guest Projects. Her work has also been featured in various group shows at Tate Britain, Artsadmin and Bearspace as well as informal interventions in communication networks and public space. Her work has also been featured in The Miami Rail, The Independent, the Guardian,, IDEA magazine, Aesthetica, NYLON and Modern Painters amongst others. She has been awarded Arts Council and Wellcome Trust funding for her artistic and curatorial projects and a year-long Florence Trust residency in 2014. Forthcoming exhibitions include a new commission for the Glasgow International Festival, 2016.

Catherine Anyango Grünewald is a Swedish/Kenyan artist and a Tutor in Visual Research at the Royal College of Art She studied at Central Saint Martins and the Royal College of Art, followed by a Masters in Modern Literature at UCL. She has published, lectured and exhibited internationally and is represented by the Riflemaker gallery. She uses drawing, film and sculpture to investigate the emotional disruption of physical space. In 2010 her graphic novel adaptation of Heart of Darkness was awarded the Observer's Graphic Novel of the Month and included in their 10 best contemporary African books. It also featured in the British Library's Writing Britain: Wastelands to Wonderlands exhibition and selected for the A Room for London experience in the Queen Elizabeth Hall. She has been featured on the BBC, Varoom, Aperture and Intelligent Life and Under the Influence magazines, and in the Guardian, Observer, Times and Independent newspapers. She has most recently shown film work at the Lux Moving Image Festival and Animate Projects Parts and Labour touring exhibition.
She was short listed for the Derwent Drawing prize 2015.

Bristol Creative Spaces is managed by Bristol Council's Arts Development team and offers artists the opportunity to undertake short residencies in some of Bristol's most unusual disused spaces. The spaces make an invaluable contribution to Bristol's flourishing arts ecology, and allow artists to share their work with the public as well as developing their own practices. The Edwardian Cloakroom is an architectural gem tucked away at the bottom of Woodland Road in Clifton.

Supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.