Construction: A conference on identity

construction landscape

Construction: A conference on identity. Fashion/Curation/Art/Photography event, 2nd November 2018, 10:30-15:45, Beecroft Art Gallery

Tickets: £25 & £10 student tickets  (includes lunch and refreshments)

Join leading creatives at the Beecroft Art Gallery to explore identity creation through fashion, art, photography and fashion curation.

Snapping the Stiletto is about sharing inspiring stories of Essex women and how they lived their lives. For many of the women we have been researching they created distinct identities for themselves in the way they acted and presented themselves in public. At the Beecroft Art Gallery we are exploring the ways people construct identities for themselves in a one-day conference on the 2nd of November.

In an image-obsessed world the concept of identity is extremely topical. We have invited leading curators, designers, photographers and historians to bring in differing perspectives on concepts around identity creation and gender identity.

Speakers include: Art Historian, Dr Mark Banting will explore Virginia Woolf’s Orlando and the re-presentation of gender roles. James Cutmore, Founder of the fashion brand The Ragged Priest will be discussing how he designs for the modern woman. Dr Tracey Loughran, from the University of Essex will be speaking about women’s representation of the self.

Other speakers include, Martin Pel, Fashion and Textiles Curator at Brighton Museum discussing his Queer Looks project around LGBTQ identities and fashion photographer Tessa Hallmann. All are focusing on the ways we ‘construct’.

There will be lots of opportunities to ask questions and the day will finish on a panel discussion with all speakers.

20181016_101416.JPGThis day is in collaboration with the subversive fashion and art exhibition Construction: An Exhibition on Clothing, Image & Persona on show now at the Beecroft Art Gallery. Curatorial Manager Ciara Phipps will be sharing her design process and inspirations behind this zeitgeist exhibition. There will be opportunities throughout the day to explore the exhibition.


For tickets and more information visit Eventbrite

Booking is essential. It is advised to book your tickets soon.

Follow Southend Museums on Facebook for updates.

The Beecroft Art Gallery are part of Southend Museums service which has been researching campaigning Southend women as part of Snapping the Stiletto.


Votes for Women- working with students from Essex University


Early on in the project Pippa and Eleanor Root (who was then the Essex MDO Maternity cover) worked with students from Essex University who were taking a ‘Votes for Women’ module.

To start the session we had asked the students to bring along an object which meant something to them and which they felt told a story about women – this got the students thinking about objects and threw up some fascinating stories including one which told of forced marriage only three generations ago.

Eleanor then explored how museums catalogue items with the groups and we looked together at some classification systems to see where objects associated with women would be found- overwhelmingly we decided that these objects would be classified as ’;domestic’ or possibly be found in the costume section. A search of various museum websites confirmed this.

We then looked at how museums think of their audiences and talked through how many divide their visitors into groups and what this might mean to exhibition and event planners

Pippa then took the students through the various ways museums are managed across the country and we looked at who was represented at a high level in national and regional museums and the make-up of some Boards of Trustees. We did find some senior women which was encouraging but decided that women were generally under-represented at a senior level across the board.

The session introduced one of the key themes of Snapping the Stiletto- that women’s’ history is held in museums but that the way objects have been collected and catalogued over the last 100 years has hidden these stories away. We hope that the project will support museums to uncover these stories and think about future collections

The students were great to work with – we were just a little disappointed that there were no male students as part of the group!

Students taking the Votes for Women module- notice anything?