In the Fold between Life and Art

This was an AHRB funded project which looked into art as a dynamic area of social action creating conditions of possibility for nomadic subjectivities to emerge. A number of journal articles and three monographs have emerged from this project. The books and the articles highlight the dynamics of spatiality in the constitution of the female self in art, particularly focusing on complex interrelations between art education, social class and space/time/matter entanglements. It has initiated my on-going interest in the assemblage of ethics, aesthetics and politics, as well as in neo-materialist philosophies and epistemologies.

Ursula's toy, Wladyslaw Dutkiewicz, 1964, © Ursula Dutkiewicz, kind permission

Archival Research

The project has involved research in the following Archives and Museums

Rodin Museum Archives, Paris: Marie Gwendolen John’s boxes.

The Rosa Bonheur Museum, Thomery, Fontainebleau.

British Library, Manuscript Collections: Dora Carrington correspondence with Lytton Strachey [62888-62897], Dora Carrington Diary [65159]

Harry Ransom Humanities Research Centre, the University of Texas at Austin: Dora Carrington Collection, Gerald Brenan Collection

Massachussetts College of Art Archives (MassArt). Boston

National Library of Wales, Archives, Gwen John’s papers.



1. (2010) Nomadic Narratives, Visual Forces: New York: Peter Lang.

2. (2010) In the Fold Between Power and Desire; Women Artists’ Narratives. Newcastle-upon-Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

3. (2010) Visual Lives: Carrington’s Letters, Drawings and Paintings. British Sociological Association, Auto/biography monograph series. Nottingham: Russell Press.

Journal articles

Painting the Body: Feminist Musings on Visual Autographies. a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, on-line first,, 2018

Becomings: Narrative Entanglements and Microsociology [44 paragraphs]. Forum Qualitative Sozialforschung / Forum: Qualitative Social Research, 16(1), Art. 19,, 2015

The Art politics of May Steven's work: Disrupting the distribution of the sensible' . Women's Studies International Forum, 2015. An overview of the paper can be reached here

Farewell to the self: between the letter and the self-portrait' Life Writing, 2015.

‘Narrative Personae and Visual Signs: Reading Leonard’s intimate photo-memoir.’ a/b: Auto/Biography Studies, 29 (1), 27-49, 2014.

Archival Research: Unravelling space/time/matter entanglements and fragments. Qualitative Research, 2014,

Heterotopic and Holey Spaces as Tents for the Nomad: Rereading Gwen John’s Letters’. Gender, Place and Culture: A Journal of Feminist Geography, 2012.

Interfaces in narrative research: letters as technologies of the self and as traces of social forces. Qualitative Research, 2012

Rethinking the Private Hypothesis: Epistolary Topographies in Carrington’s Letters’. Emotion, Space and Society, 2011

Relational Narratives: Autobiography and the Portrait’. Women Studies International Forum, 2010.

Working With Stories as Multiplicities, Opening up the Black Box of the Archive. Life Writing, 2010.

Charting Cartographies of Resistance: Line of Flight in Women Artists’ Narratives. Gender and Education, 2010. Also published in Jessica Ringrose, ed. 2011. Rethinking Gendered Regulations and Resistance in Education, Routledge, 2011.

Leaving the self, Nomadic passages in the memoir of a woman artist. Australian Feminist Studies, 2009.

Visual silences, nomadic narratives’. Auto/biography Yearbook. Vol. II, pp.1-20, 2008.

‘Re-imaginingthe narratable subject’. Qualitative Research, 2008, reprinted in Researching Gender, ed., Christina Hughes, London: Sage, 2013

Book Chapters

Becoming an Artist: Life Histories and Visual Images. (with Gali Weiss) In Oral History in the Visual Arts, Bloomsbury, 2013.

Broken Narratives,Visual Forces: Letters, Paintings and the Event. In Beyond Narrative Coherence, John Benjamins Publishing, 2010.


'Am I that name?' British Sociological Association exhibition and round table discussion, London, April 2007.

You can follow the exhibition slides here

Media Attention

Many thanks to the Art and Humanities Research Board for funding archival research for this project project