|Social Process/Collaborative Action: Mary Kelly 1970-75 is an exhibition of archival material and works of art. Many of these works from the early seventies were collective creations, investigating the social relations of women in the workplace during the crucial years between the legislation and implementation of the Equal Pay Act in Britain.
At that time, women were aware that a key to equality lay in controlling their reproductive rights. Mary Kelly, an American artist who lived in Britain for twenty years, was one of the generation of so-called second wave feminists who played an integral part in intellectual and cultural life at the time.
While grounded in feminist concerns, these conceptual works derive from a sustained programme of reading, conversations, debates and discussions in the women's community at the time, as well as from critical and theoretical considerations about the processes of making art. They reflect an optimistic belief, shared by many artists during the first half of the twentieth century, in the power of art to effect revolutionary social change.
||These early works help to contextualize Kelly's later art practice, especially her most infamous work Post-Partum Document. This exhibition illuminates the processes and events which influenced that pivotal feminist project.
Statement from Kay Hunt and Margaret Harrison
Women and Work occupies the major section of this exhibition. As it is seen here in the context of a one person show, we wish to emphasise for the sake of clarity, history and education and collaboration, that the work was a three-way partnership and is not the work solely of Mary Kelly.
As the label indicates this work belongs to all three artists who came into the project from differing perspectives. The context for Mary Kelly's involvement is explored in the accompanying publication and in the exhibition as a whole. Our own involvement is stated in the text which is reproduced and available as a leaflet.