21 Revolutions : Two Decades of Changing Minds at Glasgow Women's Library

Intermedia Gallery, CCA, Glasgow

21 Spare Ribs
(January 1973 - January 1993)

Screenprints, 21cm x 29.7cm. Variable edition of 21.


21 Spare Ribs (January 1973)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1974)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1975)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1976)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1977)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1978)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1979)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1980)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1981)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1982)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1983)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1984)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1985)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1986)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1987)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1988)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1989)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1990)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1991)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1992)

21 Spare Ribs (January 1993)

This series of 21 prints are inspired directly by the Library's Spare Rib collection – a feminist magazine that ran from 1972 – 1993.
Whilst looking through the archive of these magazines, I found the issue from January 1980, the month that I was born. Leafing through the magazine, I was struck by a number of issues that still seemed pertinent, over three decades later.
The texts in each of the works are drawn directly from the January edition of the magazine through it's 21 year history, and relate to a wide range of feminist and political topics covered in the magazine, as well as more personal and poetic stories.
Attracted also to the strong visual identity of the magazine, the colours of each print also directly references those used in the corresponding issue.

21 Revolutions: Two Decades of Changing Minds

Glasgow Women's Library is the sole resource of its kind in Scotland. Informed by and connected with the international feminist art and archive projects that proliferated from the 1970s on, it launched in Garnethill in 1991.

In its first two decades GWL has grown from a grassroots project run entirely by volunteers into an Accredited Museum used by thousands of visitors each year. Now staffed by a team of 15 dedicated specialists working in the fields of Archives, Libraries, Lifelong Learning, Volunteering and Equalities, the Library works with over 80 volunteers a year.
GWL has amassed a remarkable and varied collection that charts women's and equalities campaigns and showcases, conserves and makes accessible the diversity of women's lives, creativity and cultures. GWL is unique in that all the items in its Library, Archive and Museum collections have been donated, reflecting the broad base and ownership of its users and donors.
To mark the Library's 21st birthday, and with the support of funding from Creative Scotland and Museums Galleries Scotland, GWL commissioned 21 women artists to each create new limited edition fine art prints inspired by items and artefacts in its collections. The participating artists have drawn upon sources that include campaign badges, knitting patterns, Suffragette memorabilia, album covers, recipe books, posters and other gems from GWL's thousands of archive boxes and hundreds of library shelves.

Glasgow Women's Library has worked with artists, filmmakers, writers and other creatives throughout its history and a number of the artists in 21 Revolutions, including Jacki Parry, have a longstanding relationship with the Library. Claire Barclay and Sam Ainsley were active in the germination of GWL from its precursor, Women in Profile. Kate Davis has supported and collaborated with GWL on exhibitions, merchandise and online resources, whilst Shauna McMullan, Nicky Bird and Fiona Dean were involved in the GWL Public Art project, 'Making Space', in 2010. Artists have worked with the Library's diverse constituents including Black and Minority Ethnic women, Adult Literacy learners, GWL's Women Make History project and our National Lifelong Learning programme. Artists who came new to GWL for the 21 Revolutions project, including Ellie Harrison, Ciara Phillips and Corin Sworn, have created fresh, illuminating new responses to GWL's collections and unique culture.

All the artists engaged with the brief with generosity and commitment. The Library team thanks all of them for their participation and for the works that they have created. One limited edition fine art print by each artist will be added to the GWL Archive, while the remaining are available to buy to support the Library's ongoing work.