Born in South Shields, UK 1947.
Lives and works in Birmingham.
Richardson moved to Birmingham as a secondary school art teacher in the 1970s. Around this time she met Monica Ross and Phil Goodal, who together formed the Birmingham Women’s Art Group. Group exhibitions include: “issues”, curated by Lucy Lippard, ICA, London (1980); “Alternative images of Men”, Bakehouse Gallery, London (1980); “Midlands View”, Stoke Museum and Art Gallery (1980); “Women and Textiles”, Battersea Arts Centre (1983). Prior to this Richardson co-organised the Women”s Postal Art Event — “Feministo: representations of the Artist as Housewife”, ICA, London, 1977, which toured nationally and internationally. More recently Richardson exhibited “Burnt Breakfast” and other works, at the Constance Howard Gallery, London (2012).
A pioneer of 1970s feminist art, Su Richardson played a key role in revalidating craft, and its potential as a means of disrupting the white cube aesthetic. Simultaneously celebrating, exploiting and subverting feminine craft skills such as crocheting and embroidery, Richardson’s home-made objects stir the unconscious of domesticity and femininity and their mutual implications. The not-so-lovingly prepared fry-up of charred egg and sausage in Burnt Breakfast contrasts with the carefully crocheted technique Richardson has used to create the objects — emblematic of the artist’s ambivalence towards the traditional dos and don’ts of ‘home-making’. “Although we respect the skills passed on to us, they stink of poverty […] your work was used, trodden on, or worn right out, like you yourself” – Kate Walker. In addition to Burnt Breakfast, Richardson is exhibiting a new body of work — a series of crocheted sculptures made for Home Strike that speak to the commodification of the female body, in its reduction to the role of either mother or sexual play thing.