Balkanising Taxonomy - A symposium & an exhibition supported by the Constance Howard Resource and Research Centre in Textiles and Graduate School, Goldsmiths, University of London
_Althea Greenan
Curator, MAKE: The Womans Art Library, Goldsmiths

A chance remark to a young curator visiting the Women's Art Library from Novi Sad led to a fact finding visit to Serbia sponsored by the local British Council. I would like to talk briefly about the nature of the collection I curate and why that leads me to continue collecting information on women artists and enjoy the thrill of making connections with practitioners and curators on their homeground. I contrast this with the story of the Bratko Museum of Oriental Art which was set up in Korçë, Albania and represents a very different 'balkanizing' of a collection.

Althea Greenan has worked within the Women's Art Library since 1989, when it was primarily an artists' organization collecting and archiving its members' slides and publishing a magazine which appeared under the title 'Women's Art Magazine' and later 'Make, the magazine of women's art'. TheWomen's Art Library ceased operating as an arts organization in 2002, but the collection is now held at the Library at Goldsmiths, University of London where it remains accessible to the public and continues to collect documentation on women artists. Althea's various roles within the Library included a decade of writing in the magazine and managing the research resource which was gifted to Goldsmiths. She continues to work with the collection as part of the Library team, with a particular emphasis on developing the Women's Art Library collection. She facilitates a range of events and projects that center on the collection, including a writer's residency in 2007 and the forthcoming WAL/Feminist Review Research Bursary in spring 2009.

Althea Greenan has a personal interest in the emergence of the term Balkan in describing art work originating in former communist countries, especially Albania. She has visited Tirana, Belgrade, Novi Sad, Ljubljana and Zagreb with varying degrees of success in collecting information on contemporary and historical women artists.

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Performance by Hannah Oshea

Performance by Hannah O'Shea