Update 9th February 2020
The challenge with this placement is I am not local to the area and could not find a strategic way to develop my proposed project to work with Dinner Ladies. This meant, a serious rethink. I interrogated what I was really trying to do, which is to raise the visibility of women in Walsall and rethought how I could go about this. To do this I proposed accessing a diversity of communities across the city and creating a visual archive of Women of Walsall. The aim is to demonstrate the diversity of women that create the community of Women of Walsall.
The project has involved working with Walsall for All - a subsidiary of Walsall council to access community groups across the city. In the community spaces, I set up a pop-up photography studio, and in exchange for a family portrait the women agreed that their portrait can be used in the WoW project. The participant's faces, along with archival photographs, sourced from Walsall Archive, which include photographs of women and labour, machine girls (to use the archival reverence name), women stitching leather in the leather factory, glove makers, the local swimming team and historical figures such as Sister Dora (their version of Florence Nightingale) Miss Beatle Stone who ran a school in Walsall, Ada Newman who was the first female councillor, Edna Hughes an Olympic swimmer, Gertrude Creswell the first female Mayor, will be presented in a public space in Walsall, to celebrate with International Women's day 2020.