Ingrid Pollard celebrates women in photography and women of colour in No Cover Up
A thought provoking exhibition highlighting work by women in photography, specifically the award winning artist Ingrid Pollard and curator Freya Monk-McGowan, No Cover Up is on display at Glasgow Woman’s Historical Library from Friday 28th May to Friday 23rd July 2021.
Women in Photography
Alongside printmaking, installation, video, and audio, Contemporary Heroine Ingrid Pollard is one of the foremost women in photography today, known for using different photographic processes to shed new light on important subjects.
Following a residency in 2019, No Cover Up – her latest solo exhibition – reveals her responses to the materials held in the Lesbian Archive at Glasgow Women’s Library.
This exhibition gives voice to the archive, offering new insights on its content and reminding us that LGBTQ+ culture is thriving and at the forefront of activism. The works on display highlight issues that are as relevant today as when the Lesbian Archive was founded.
Visiting the Exhibition
No Cover Up weaves its way through the Victorian building, through the foyer and the GWL event space, traveling into the library itself where wooden box voice recordings are situated within the bookshelves.
At the push of a button, attendees can hear interviews between Ingrid and various women featured in the archive, including Femi Otitoju, Lesley Climpson, Claudette Johnson, Sue Frumin, Adele Patrick, Pam Isherwood, Patricia Gonzales, and Pragna Patel.
Speaking to women connected to the archive about a microcosm of the Women’s Liberation Movement in the 1970s and 1980s, Ingrid elicits their stories about personal experiences of the time.
Posters for Protest
Within the event space there is Ingrid Pollard’s work from the 1970s onwards, as well as work from the GWL collection and Lenthall Road Workshop collection, featuring vibrant gay and lesbian organisation posters from the 1970s and 1980s.
Included within this collection is ‘Black Lesbian’, a poster featuring a portrait of two figures surrounded by the word ‘lesbian’ written in multiple languages. Originally created in 1984, the poster featured in Suffragettes to She-Devils (1997), Liz McQuiston’s visual compendium of the Women’s Liberation Movement.
‘Black Lesbian’ is discussed by Ingrid and Femi Otitoju during their interview; regarding the experience of being pictured in the poster, Femi comments, “It was also quite political […] I remember making banners to take out on pride marches.’ Prints of the poster are available to purchase at the library.
At the top of the library there is a panoramic-style poster showing the community demonstration of gay rights and Black equality.
The exhibition also features a Zoom interview between Ingrid and Mason Leaver-Yap, discussing Ingrid’s recent residency, the process of creating the exhibition, the meaning behind it, and her experiences working with the relatively new archive at the Library. This interview is available to watch on the GWL website.
The issues addressed by No Cover Up highlight the ongoing relevance of the archive and the importance of preserving its contents. A must-see, the exhibition focuses on important subjects from the archive that are just as important to talk about today as they were in the 1980s; as a leading feminist photographer, Ingrid’s work provides a powerful means of continuing the conversation.
By Tamsin McLaughlan