© Caroline Molloy

Caroline Molloy’s work ‘Women of Walsall’ is featured on the blog Personal Work

Caroline: “This work was made with the support of Heritage Lottery Funding as part of the Living Memory project, which was received through an open call to make work in the West-midlands. I had been involved with the 209 women in parliament project in 2018, in which every female MP was photographed by a different female photographer. This was an exciting project to be part of because it really did raise the visibility of women. However, it is always difficult to tease out broader narratives about women who are so frequently written out of history.

The body of work that evolved through this residency aims to raise the visibility of women in the market town of Walsall. By this I mean, I am interested in bringing together and celebrating the collective community of women of Walsall. When I speak of community I am thinking about what Anderson (1983) refers to as an ‘imagined community’. He describes an ‘imagined community’, as a social construct of people who perceive themselves as part of a group with similar interests or those who collectively identify with each other, despite the fact they may never meet face to face. Anderson uses this term as a way of defining ‘nation’, however it seems to equally apply to members of a localised community, who have self-defined notions of belonging. In the case of the Women of Walsall project, this includes women who live in Walsall, women who work in Walsall, women who study in Walsall, women who play in Walsall, women born and bred to Walsall and women who have migrated to Walsall, for any number of reasons. What these women have in common is a sense of belonging to Walsall.  

It includes photographs I have taken alongside of archival photographs of Women of Walsall provided by Walsall Archive (permission has been granted to use the archival photograph within the context of this body of work).”

Caroline Molloy, Programme Director at UCA Farnham, used a pop-up studio to create a new iconography of the Women of Walsall.