Volunteering experience of Lorna Harrington, alumni of UCA
As an MA Fashion student and volunteer at the Feminist Library, starting
to work with the UCA archives has been an exciting project.
I have been able to see first-hand at the Epsom campus how the art school has changed over the years through looking at past prospectuses as well as minute books. This has made me start to consider whether the art school is a feminist space, a topic I hope to explore while volunteering at the archives.
I have also had the opportunity to visit UCA Farnham where I was able to look at some of the Tessa Boffin archive and the zine collection. These were of specific interest to me, due to my studies in to feminism and my post graduate studies which have so far focused on creating my own zines and planning an exhibition.
The Tessa Boffin archive, is a collection of personal papers including hand
written notes belonging to former staff member and photographer Tessa Boffin. Part of the collection included her research for a proposed exhibition on a Billboard
which focused on a real life news story surrounding the alleged rape of a young woman by a member of her own sex pretending to be a man. Also included is the project proposal which really gives insight into what goes in to putting on an exhibition.
The zine archive includes a wealth of material and is certainly an inspiration to anyone thinking about creating their own, both in terms of content ideas as well as presentation.
I had the pleasure of looking at The Hissterics a zine created in 2001 by feminist artist Rachael House. Interestingly, since visiting the archives I have met Rachael who
was both a performer and stall holder at The Feminist Library winter fair.
From this meeting I was able to acquire three more of her zines;
C(o)unterculture–women’s land and Red hanky panky issues eight and nine. As part of my volunteering I hope to write a small guide giving an overview of Rachael House’s zine for those using the archive.