Artist Jemima Brown recently published Peace Camp, a new book showcasing her unique and fascinating figurines, and to mark the 40th Anniversary of the Women’s Peace Camp at Greenham Common.
Her mixed media sculptures have extraordinary life-like features and expressions. They sit atop vintage Thermos flasks and Campingaz lamps, dressed in individually crafted hand knits and protest t-shirts emblazoned with tiny CND badges.
The book also features a number of Greenham Women, and I was delighted to be included with this image from my archive :
Last year I documented the Greenham Womenanniversary march – 110 miles from Cardiff to Greenham Common. This is me at the end of day #8. I think there are definitely some similarities with Jemima Brown’s sleeping figurines!
Unfortunately our right to peaceful protest is still under threat as our Government tries to force through another bill, this despite the fact that the public and the House of Lords rejected their last attempts. To stop the bill, please take a look at the Greenpeace petition here.
I am extremely honored to have this project selected by the judges – Jennie Ricketts trustee at Autograph Gallery and the Martin Parr Foundation, and Isabelle Von Ribbentrop the Executive Director of the Prix Pictet.
The Greenham Women’s Peace Camp was the largest female-led protest since suffrage, and led to the international ban of Cruise missiles. But this extraordinary event has largely been written out of history. Last year the activist group Greenham Women Everywhere recreated the protest march from Cardiff to Newbury [that started the Peace Camp] to once again highlight the achievements of these remarkable women.
It was an honor to walk alongside and document this new protest march from Cardiff to Greenham Common. Below is a series of 15 selected works, from this extensive project, that have been shortlisted for the 37th Association of Photographers(AOP)Awards.
Walking for 110 miles over nine days, the pain of polluted roads and thunderous traffic was accompanied by camaraderie and song.
Original Greenham Women shared inspiring, and sometimes terrifying stories, of their time spent at the peace camp, with a new generation of impassioned activists.
Their aim, to highlight the urgent crises of the climate emergency, nuclear weapons escalation, daily violence against women, extreme hunger, and social inequality, could not be more timely.
Having my work chosen for this category, in a genre I am not generally known for, really means a lot to me. I hope that my photography will help highlight the important work initiated by Greenham Women Everywhere.
Many thanks to The Times for featuring one of my images from the Greenham Women 110 mile protest march.
Bringing together original Greenham Women with a new generation of activists. “Walking in the footsteps of our foremothers to highlight the multi crises of the climate emergency, nuclear weapons escalation, extreme hunger, social inequality, daily violence against women, and more.”
A series of this work has been chosen as a finalist in the 37th AOP photography awards.
A new exhibition of my COMMON PEOPLE photography (including previously unseen images) opens at The Base this autumn. I am delighted to be showing my work alongside Jemima Brown‘s Peace Camp, and David Hockney‘s Hockney & Hollywood.
In 1981 a group of 36 women walked from Cardiff, Wales, to Newbury, Berkshire. It took them ten days to walk the 110 miles, some pushing children in pushchairs, sleeping in tents and church halls on the way. Their peaceful protest was against the siting of American nuclear missiles on British common land. On arrival they set up camp outside RAF Greenham Common. This was the beginning of the legendary Greenham Women’s Peace Camp.
Despite this being the largest female-led protest since suffrage, this extraordinary event has largely been written out of history. So to mark it’s 40th anniversary, and to get people talking again about the achievements of these remarkable women, the group Greenham Women Everywhere (GWE) are re-creating the march; following as close as possible to the original route and staying overnight in the same areas.
I photographed the Greenham Women’s Peace Camp in 1985 when I was a photography student, and now GWE have invited me to join them on their new march. I will be documenting the walkers, the rallies, the camping, the singing and the many cups of tea. From when the march leaves Cardiff, and throughout the following ten days until arrival at Greenham Common.
It will be a huge honor to be part of this pilgrimage. I hope that my photography will help highlight the importance of peaceful protest, and the remarkable achievements made by the original Greenham Women.
For more information about Greenham Women Everywhere and details of the march please click here
If you would like to buy me or my assistant a cup of tea to fuel us on our journey I have set up an account with ko-fihere.
If you are interested in becoming a sponsor to help me bring this project to fruition, I would love to hear from you. The easiest way is to DM me through my Instagram channel, or message me through my website www.wendycarrig.co.uk
Many thanks as always for your support and for reading my blog.
“The timing couldn’t be more crucial as we face the multiple, cascading crises of the climate emergency, nuclear weapons escalation, daily violence against women, extreme hunger, social inequality – and so much more. We need to stand on the shoulders of our foremothers and carry their campaigns for peace and justice forward, while securing the Greenham Women’s unique place in activist history.”
To accompany the opening of Actions of Art and Solidarity at the Kunstnernes Hus Norway this week, the curatorial team at the Office for Contemporary Art, Norway invited participating artists to contribute ideas for a protestplaylist.
“…includes works by both national and international artists operating in the name of cultural, socio-political and environmental solidarity across various geographies and contexts…”
I am of course disappointed that I can’t be in Norway for the opening events, but I am hoping that I may get to see the exhibition [and meet the team] at the Kunstnernes Hus before it closes on March 21st. My sincere thanks to Katya Garcia-Anton, director and chief curator at OCA; Elsa Itzel Archundia Esquivel; Liv Brissach; also Astrid Vostermans the contemporary art publisher and founder of Valiz who is publishing the accompanying reader.
“Solidarity has re-entered the global zeitgeist with resounding force in the last decade. It has driven new thinking focused on countering systemic failures and outright abuses related to climate, economy, surveillance, health, gender and race amongst other issues. Actions of Art and Solidarity considers the central role that artists play within this historical shift in the new millenium, drawing parallels to synergic cases of the twentiethcentury.“
Many thanks to Feng Gu at The China Photography Association for
featuring my work in their magazine.
Here is a translation of the interview :
1Could you tell me your experiences in photography?I studied photography at Salisbury College of Art before moving to
London to work for four years as an apprentice, mainly to the music
and portrait photographer Mike Owen; he introduced me to the legendary
surrealist photographer Angus McBean whom I also had the pleasure of
working with.I set up on my own in 1990.2 Introduce your job of commercial photography? Do you take documentary
photography now? How do you deal with the relationship of commercial
photography and documentary photography?Most of my commercial work comes via A&R Creative Agency – a wonderful
team who have represented me for 25 years. I am regularly commissioned
for fashion, beauty, lifestyle and portraiture assignments - recent clients
include NBC/The Bi-Life, Triumph, Elle Germany and Stella Telegraph magazine.I am also known for my portrait photography. My work has been selected for
both catalogue cover and poster campaign for the Taylor Wessing Photographic
Portrait Prize at The National Portrait Gallery London; and I have won the
AOP best in category award for portraiture at the Association of Photographer’s
Awards. Recent sittings include the Olympian athlete Tessa Sanderson CBE,
the MP Dr.Rosena Allin-Khan, Buddhist nun Emma Slade, the girl band
Bananarama, and Ayda Field Williams.I am considering working on a new documentary project, but nothing has
been decided upon yet.3 What is the Greenham Common Peace Camp? Could you introduce it to
our Chinese readers? Greenham Common is aformer British RAF (Royal Air Force) base. During
the Cold War period in the 1980s the British government allowed American
nuclear missiles to be installed there. Many people were outraged at
this act and a group of women demonstrators made a peaceful protest by
walking 100 miles from Wales to Greenham Common. The number of protestorseventually grew into thousands and Peace Camps were set upencircling
the base and became women-only. Their mission, to peacefully disrupt
the movement and deployment of nuclear missiles.4Did you join it? Tell some stories about it and you?I was a photography student during the mid-1980s and visited the
Peace Camp for my final year project. I stayed at Greenham for a
couple of weeks during a very cold winter - sleeping under tarpaulin,
eating donated food and wearing donated clothes. Every morning police
and bailiffs would evict us from the site, and as soon as they had
left we would return to relight the campfire for warmth, tea, talk
and songs; and some women would plot and plan and eventually by
nightfall would cut through the wire fence that surrounded the base,
and often be arrested found sitting alongside a nuclear missile.5When you shot these photos of COMMON PEOPLEdid you you think there
will be an exhibition of your work 30 years later?No, not at all, the pictures have been stored in my negative files
until only last year. 6 What do you want to convey through these photos?My pictures mainly show quiet, domestic life at the Peace Camp.I realise
now that this vision is possibly unique, as by excludingall men from
the camps would have also meant excluding most photographers, as photography
at that time was very much male dominated.
7 How do you think the photography experiences affected your later
photography career?As a student I was interested in both documentary and fashion photography.
As a professional photographer Ifell into working in the fashion industry
as I was inspired by the photographers, mainly fashion photographers, whomI had assisted. In recent years I have been working towards more portrait
commissions as I like to show a reality and truth in my work. Re-visiting
my Greenham pictures has made me reconsider my early thoughts on documentary
photography and I am now looking for new ways I can take this forward in my
career.8 What do you think about as a woman photographer in shooting beauty,
fashion,lifestyle photography?I believe that whatever genre of photography I choose to work in – beauty,
fashion, lifestyle, portraiture, documentary etc - my creative style
as a photographer is as individual and unique as the personality of
any photographer, regardless of gender.9 How many years do you take photography as a career? And How do you
keep your passion alive in photography?Next year I will be celebrating thirty years as a professional photographer. The advent of digital cameras was definitely a moment thatboosted my
passion for photography –I often prefer to work with daylight, so the
extra film and shutter speeds combined with auto-focusing allowed me
to push the boundaries of my vision.10Could you give some advice to our readers about how to take a nice
photo?A ‘nice’ photograph doesn’t have to be technically perfect, but I think
it does have to convey something of a message to it’s audience. There is
usually a reason for taking a photograph so it is important that your
audience understands the message or story you are trying to convey.Photography like art is only ‘nice’ if the viewer believes it to be so. I always question my own work by asking myself “Is it real..?”
“do I believe..?”.
COMMON PEOPLE can be seen at the Greenham Common Control Tower
until this Saturday 9th March.
My COMMON PEOPLE photography exhibition continues at Greenham Common
Control Tower Thursday-Sunday until 9th March 2019. The gallery will
then open on Sunday 10th March for a private view, where Dr.Meg Thomas
from the Tower will be in conversation with myself, and Beccy
Trowler QC who is featured in the exhibition and whose image is on the
exhibition poster. Tickets for this event are £8.50 available from
Greenham Common ControlTower
I am pleased to announce that my COMMON PEOPLE photography exhibition will be opening at the Greenham Common Control Tower on Sunday 9th December 2018 and will run for three months until 9th March 2019. All the photography on show was taken at Greenham Common Peace Camp during the mid-1980s whilst I was a photography student at Salisbury College of Art. Many thanks to Meg Thomas and the trustees of The Tower for inviting me to exhibit my work in their new gallery space. All photography is for sale, together with an exhibition poster and postcards. If you would like to attend the launch event, especially if you were at the Peace Camp during the 1980s, please DM me via the contact form on my website. Best wishes. Wendy