Althea Greenan and Barby Asante at The Lightbox, Woking

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Dr Althea Greenan is a curator and archivist and Barby Asante is an artist, lecturer and educator. Greenan has an encyclopedic knowledge of female art practice and Asante uses archives to explore the legacies of the past on the present. Their curatorial intentions share an interest in untold histories and an understanding of what working with archives can effect. In different capacities, both are involved with The Women’s Art Library.

About Althea Greenan

Dr Althea Greenan works in Special Collections and Archives at Goldsmiths University of London and curates the Women’s Art Library (WAL) collection there. Her work with the collection began in 1989 as a volunteer with the Women Artists Slide Library, the artists’ organization that became the Women’s Art Library in 1993. She remained with the collection when it was gifted to the Library at Goldsmiths University of London. She works with artists and academic researchers to help realise new projects based on the Women’s Art Library collection, in particular those that position the collection in contemporary practices. She has written on the work of women artists since the 1980s and her doctoral research at the University of Brighton considers the Women’s Art Library slide collection as a feminist post-digital space. She has published reviews, interviews and creative pieces in a range of publications from art magazines to academic journals.

About Barby Asante

Barby Asante is an artist, curator and researcher based in London and Amsterdam. Her work creates situations and spaces for dialogue, collective thinking, ritual and reenactment. Using archival material in the broadest sense, she is interested in breaking down the language of archive, not to insert or present alternatives to dominant narratives but to interrupt, interrogate and explore the effects and possibilities of the unheard and the missing. Over the last 20 years of artistic action she has created projects that have explored, liveness, performativity and sociability, to think about issues of place, identity and belonging, critically reflecting on race and social justice. Coming from the feminist position of the personal is political Barby’s artistic journey travels through her own experience of coming from a Ghanaian migrant family growing up in the UK, institutional interventions, working with people, thinking about ways to create/ occupy space, unearth un-constituted archives and un-accredited knowledges to articulate perspectives that reflect on the histories and legacies of slavery and colonialism that inform our present.

Barby has shown work and developed projects nationally and internationally. Her work has been included in Untitled, New Art Exchange, Nottingham (2017); The Diaspora Pavilion, Palazzo Pisano Santa Marina, Venice (2017); Who’s Urban Appropriation is This? TENT, Rotterdam (2017); and Starless Midnight, BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Arts, Gateshead (2017/18). Her on going project, As Always a Painful Declaration of Independence: For Ama. For Aba. For Charlotte and Adjoa, brings together groups of womxn of colour, to explore social, cultural and political agency, through collective actions that attempt to collect and tell stories of living and forgotten womxn and the everyday political actions that do not get articulated in narratives of social, political and cultural change. The project is developed in a series of chapters, with new chapters being presented as part of And Still I Rise, Nottingham Contemporary and at BALTIC Centre of Contemporary Arts in 2019. Barby is also a PhD Candidate, CREAM University of Westminster, co founder of the collaborative project, agency for agency and on the advisory board for the Women’s Art Library.

Althea Greenan
Barby Asante