Jan Martin reflects on the artistic practise of Jackie Thrupp

The text below was read out by Jan Martin, the design brains behind the exhibition, at the opening tea-party on Saturday 7 May.

Enjoy reading about how her engagement with Jackie Thrupp’s work has enriched her creativity. The text also offers insight into the ideas behind what Jackie was doing with her unique visual style.

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When I began looking at the material in the archive I realised that Jackie Thrupp, the energy behind Sistershow’s unique visual style, was a formidable creative force – in the visual arts, but also in poetry and music, theatre and in the way she lived her life – for change.

By introducing me to Jackie Thrupp’s work this project has helped me to trace the line of my own artistic influences while connecting with women of previous generations, to identify common struggles and recognise how far we’ve come and how much further there is to go. I am, as Jackie was, a fan of the Dada movement with it’s message of breaking down to reassemble – with cut up and collage techniques used as a metaphor for social change. Jackie used these techniques to the same ends, as a way of overturning expectations and dismantling accepted realities, to challenge the status quo and effect change.

Her visual work was iconic and groundbreaking and has in no way dated since the 1970’s, but still seems fresh and exciting. All I have done in revisiting the Sistershow design is bring it into the digital world in order to help communicate the ideas in a contemporary context. The inspiration, visual material, humour, and atmosphere are all still uniquely the work of Jackie Thrupp and the Sistershow Group.

Jan Martin, May 2011

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