Jo Spence: Self Portraits

Jo Spence: Self Portraits
Date: 12 June – 16 November 2008
Space: Gallery 3

Exhibition of self-portraits by British photographer Jo Spence (1934-1992) from the collection of Glasgow Museums. Following the exhibition a number of works were donated to Glasgow Museums from the Jo Spence Memorial Archive, in London.

GoMA presented 14 photographs by artist Jo Spence, mostly known for her work in issues such as class, femininity, health, self-image. This exhibition began with the ten Spence portraits owned by GoMA since the early 1990s. Digital prints were also donated by Spence’s dedicated archivist (and one time collaborator/partner) Terry Dennett. The work (a small representation of this prolific artist’s ouevre) connected to a couple of key issues for Spence – her mother and cancer. ‘Tart’ (1978), ‘Love on a Plate’ (1989) and ‘Early Mother’ (1985) show Spence making the journey from coy feminist dialectic to maternal rehabilitation. The latter two are part of a photo therapy series Spence worked on with collaborator Rosy Martin in which she attempts to unpick the layers of self hatred compacted by class, roots and a self destructive mother, whose pinny-bound austerity Spence attempts to recreate with unsettling results.

Artists: Jo Spence

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