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 plaything.

 

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Su Richardson