Art & Development

Sharon Kivland and the Whitworth’s Tuesday Talks

Britain and France-based artist Sharon Kivland spoke at the Whitworth Art Gallery’s Tuesday Talk lecture series today. She’s is a fierce intellect and flawless speaker with broad experiences to draw from as a researcher, curator and artist. Her practice is deep and vast, spanning psychoanalysis, language, typography and French revolutionary history. She characterizes her practice as one of precision, intellectual pretensions, and irony.

I really like Sharon Kivland’s Mon Abecedaire, a series of handkerchiefs embroidered with an alphabet of the artist’s personal flaws. The artist’s statement is really great too — light exposition conveying loads of irony. For pics and the statement, visit, click on exhibitions and scroll down.

I found Kivland’s broad experience and lecturing skill impressive and intimidating. Combined with other factors (low proportion of men in attendance, the fact that Kivland is the only female lecturer in the five-part series, and my observations of the local MA programs who’ve visited my studio — overwhelmingly female with only one or two men (sometimes including the TA), per class of 10+ students), I left with a nagging feeling about how much harder women have to work to gain respect and opportunities in the art world.