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Installation view including works by Phyllis Christopher, Tess Denman-Cleaver, Kate Liston and Harriet Sutcliffe at Workplace Foundation, Gateshead

Women Artists of the North East Library Exhibition at Workplace Foundation, 2018

Women Artists of the North East Library is a growing library collection, a public programme of events and artist commissions, setting up contexts and perspectives for exploring artistic legacies of women and non-binary artists associated with the North East region of England.  

Founded in 2017 through The Northern Charter Graduate Bursary, the Library began from a proposition – what would a library of women’s practice look like in the North East? – and a desire to see more variety in the regional narratives beyond already established histories and male artists’ work. 

The Library is active in finding new ways to re-appraise artists less visible in dominant cultural narratives, and support the production of new work. 

The Library is shaped by who and what gets donated to it’s physical collection and therefore is always changing and evolving. The collection includes publications, audio, objects, images and other forms of documentation that record historic and current artistic practice and programming across the North East of England. By bringing together research and donated material the library forms a cultural resource for artists and researchers, and anyone interested in artistic histories of the region.

The WANE Library works collaboratively with artists, communities and cultural organisations to expand and share its collection through a nomadic programme. To date the library has worked with The Northern Charter, ArtHouses, The Walking Library, The Sociological Review, Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA), BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, Northumbria University, Visual Arts in Rural Communities (VARC), Workplace Foundation, Tyneside Cinema and others.

The Library is anti-patriarchal and committed to imagining and reconstituting an arts sector that is non-discriminatory, anti-racist, anti-elitist, welcoming and caring.

If you are interested in being involved or working with the library we would love to hear from you.

WANE Library organising team is:

Holly Argent (Project Lead 2017 – present)

Tess Denman-Cleaver (Producer July 2020 – present)

Taryn Edmonds (Programme Co-ordinator January 2022 – November 2022)

Our website is designed by Sally Pilkington.

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Press about the Project

Women Artists of the North East Library Reading List
Art Licks, Issue 24, October 2019

Group Show: Episode 5, podcast with Caitlin Merrett-King
Available on Spotify and Itunes

In Conversation: Holly Argent, Paul Moss, George Vasey
Art Licks, Issue 23, October 2018.

The Everyday Political, CGP London, by Piers Masterson
This is Tomorrow, 4th September 2018

The Everyday Political, CGP London by Lauren Velvick
Art monthly 419, September 2018

Interview: Women Artists of the North East Library
Narc Magazine, December 2017 – In print and Online