New film about Nell Dunn and Pauline Boty nears completion

Hannah Morrish and Helena Wilson during the filming of “Nell and Pauline”

Nell and Pauline is a short film currently in post-production based on the conversation between Nell Dunn and Pauline Boty in 1963 documented in Dunn’s book Talking to Women

The film is directed by Zoé Ford Burnett, with Helena Wilson playing Nell and Hannah Morrish playing Pauline. The three have all worked together in different capacities over the years, both at the National Theatre and RSC, but it was whilst in lockdown that they found themselves recommending the Pauline Boty conversation from Talking to Women to each other and talking about how moved they’d all been by it: “It was a time of feeling scared and creatively stunted, but reading that conversation reinvigorated us and reminded us of the need to create even in difficult times” explained Hannah.

Shot over two days in the summer of 2021 on a shoestring budget, the filmmakers were given permission by Dunn to use the conversation transcript verbatim for its dialogue. Many of the team worked for free as they felt it was such an important story to tell.  

A final £2,000 is now needed to pay for editing, music composition, a premiere screening featuring a panel discussion on Dunn and Boty’s lives and work, and film festival submissions. All donations will be thanked with a special mention in the film’s credits, any publicity for the film, and at the film’s premiere screening, along with free tickets to the premiere screening.

Further information is available at the fundraising page here: [link]

Filming a scene of “Nell and Pauline” in the summer of 2021

Talk on the legacy of Pauline Boty to be held at Gazelli Art House with Ali Smith and Sue Tate

Gazelli Art House, Dover Street, London

The talk will take place at Gazelli Art House on February 22nd, 6:00 – 8:00 pm (GMT) to accompany the “Oh, Marilyn!” exhibition currently being held at the gallery.

The panel discussion will draw on the history of art during the 60s wave of female emancipation in the UK and US and its impact on the arts, specifically the legacy of exhibiting artist Pauline Boty. Panellists include Ali Smith (CBE FRSL award-winning author, whose work Autumn features Boty as a central figure) and Dr Sue Tate (author of the biography Pauline Boty: Pop artist and Woman and co-curator of the associated retrospective which ran at both Wolverhampton Art Gallery and Pallant House Gallery in the UK).

You can join either at the gallery or online (audio only)
Click here to join at the gallery [limited places]: [link]
Click here to hear the talk live online: [link]

Further information about the exhibition is available here [link]

Gazelli Art House
39 Dover Street
London W1S 4NN
+44 207 491 8816

New installation “147 Women Dinner Party” includes work representing Pauline Boty

Installation view of “147 Women Dinner Party”. Image courtesy of Stash Gallery @Vout-o-Reenees

147 Women Dinner Party is an installation by Sophie Parkin and Mandee Gage about women who were celebrated in their day and should be better remembered for how they have been instrumental in making and changing Britain. Each of the 147 one-off, hand-made, hand-painted pieces (including plates, candlesticks, bowls, mugs, vases and more) is dedicated to one of the women.

Item no. 29 created for Pauline Boty with chosen Maxim “Dissolve Enmities”

“I had a revelation whilst at The Temple of Apollo, Delphi, Greece where the High Priestess Pythia foresaw and proclaimed. Why has nobody heard of Pythia? Pythia held the most powerful position of any woman in the Ancient World, wrote 147 Maxims for humans to abide by, carved into the stones around the temple. Some of these have been adopted by every religion, most have been ascribed to Socrates or Plato or other male philosophers, after Pythia. Why?

147 Maxims, 147 Women of Britain who should be better remembered, who were celebrated in their day. With time on my hands during the pandemic I thought this was the moment to find a ceramicist interested in making and decorating 147 pieces! I found Mandee Gage to collaborate with. Mandee has hand-made each piece – original and different – just like women. I have decorated half of them; all of them are dedicated to the women named on their bases. Mandee and I are stamped into each piece too. Women And Men, have made this country. This is what it means to be British.

147 Women became Dinner Party because we saw the installation laid out like a dinner table, traditionally a woman’s work, and to commemorate Judy Chicago’s piece, The Dinner Party, which has 39 guests with elaborate embroidered place settings that took scores of women to make. Mandee and I alone have done everything, including the book that accompanies the exhibition with potted bios, an image and of course each individual dedicated piece.” [by Sophie Parkin, from the Stash Gallery at Vout-O-Reenee’s website]

Sophie Parkin is an artist, writer, mother, broadcaster, journalist and businesswoman, co-owner of Vout-O-Reenees and The Stash Gallery. She has had 9 books published incl The Colony Room Club; a history of Soho, four one women shows and co-presenter/ producer of podcast @ShadowSpies.

Mandee Gage is a mixed media artist, teacher and ceramicist whose work refers to human rights, the environment and societies engagement with it. Gage ran Hybrid Art and Science group for 10 years. She has shown extensively in the UK and internationally from Oaxaca in Mexico, to the Venice Bienna

147 Women Dinner Party is on display at:
Stash Gallery at Vout-O-Reenee’s The Crypt, 30 Prescot St, London E1 8BB
10th February–26th February
The Beecroft Gallery Southend
5th March – 27th March
Broomhill Estate Gallery Devon
8th April

Further information, including opening times, is available at the gallery website here: [link]
A podcast explaining the origins of the exhibition is here: [link]

A book accompanying the exhibtion includes biographies of the 147 women that the works represent

70 contact sheets from “Alfie” for sale, including scene with Michael Caine and Pauline Boty

Michael Caine and Pauline Boty in the 1966 film “Alfie”, contact sheet on sale at eBay [detail]

In Boty’s first and sadly, only, film role she appeared briefly as the manageress of a dry cleaners where she and Michael Caine’s Alfie share an embrace as they disappear behind racks of clothes – “And I was getting a suit clean in the bargain. Well. You can’t turn sometime like that down!” The images show Boty and Caine both in their roles inside and in conversation outside, presumably with director Lewis Gilbert on Earl’s Court Road where the building was located.
In addition to Caine, the film starred Millicent Martin, Julia Foster, Jane Asher, Shirley Anne Field, Vivien Merchant, Eleanor Bron and Shelley Winters and had its premiere at the Plaza Theatre in London on 24 March 1966.
The contact sheets are currently available for sale on eBay – the listing’s description includes the following:
Alfie (1966). A unique important collection of 70 original silver gelatin contact sheets.
Provenance: from the collection of the director and producer of the movie; Lewis Gilbert.
A total of 70 contact sheets containing a complete sequence of images from ‘ALF 1’ through to ‘ALF 1,481’. The BFI (British Film Institute) has around 300 stills from the movie in their archive – here there are 1,481 across the 70 contact sheets. Essentially a museum/exhibition piece with the ultimate provenance.
Alfie is the seminal ‘Swinging Sixties London’ movie that turned Michael Caine into a movie superstar and global icon, and likewise the breakthrough movie for Lewis Gilbert who went on to direct three James Bond movies and later worked again with Caine on Educating Rita.
The images are a mix of frames from the movie, outtakes and photography stills, on set scenes, off set, production team, movie promos etc, probably many never seen before..

In very good condition, some with very slight imperfections from gentle handling. Probably never removed since 1966 from their original album sleeves until now for listing photography.

Absolutely unique and rare with second to none provenance.”

More images of the sheets uploaded to Instagram can be seen by searching the hashtag #alfiecontactsheets

The eBay listing can be seen here: [link]

Michael Caine and Pauline Boty in the 1966 film “Alfie”, contact sheet on sale at eBay [detail]

“Oh, Marilyn!” group exhibition at Gazelli Art House, London includes Boty’s works

Pauline Boty, A Big Hand, collage with gold gilt paint, 1961

Running from 21 January to 12 March 2022, the exhibition is dedicated to the 60s wave of female emancipation in the UK and US and features Pauline Boty together with Judy Chicago, Penny Slinger and Jann Haworth.

“Showing for the second time at the gallery, Pauline Boty (1938–1966) was a founder of the British pop art and Britain’s most notable pop art painter. Her paintings and collage work often made references to female sexuality as well as current affairs, criticising the nature of the “man’s world.” On display in the exhibition is Angel (60s) and A Big Hand (ca. 1961), a collage work depicting a female hand holding sculptural figures from Rome’s Trevi Fountain above a Victorian park scene.

Gallery artist Jann Haworth (b. 1942) moved to London from Los Angeles in 1961 to study at the Slade School of Fine Art, becoming a pioneer of soft sculptures that led her to challenge the notion of female form serving as a muse or object of desire. Exhibited works include the Pom Pom Girl (1964-65), China Cabinet (1963–1964), Dog (1962), Linder Doll (1965), Still Life Marble Fabric ( 1962) and Rhinestones (1963–64).

Penny Slinger (b. 1947) explores feminism and eroticism through work including photography, film and sculpture. On display are a series of vintage black and white photographs from the artist’s subversive Bride Book (1973) and works from her 1973 series Mouthpieces.

Multidisciplinary artist Judy Chicago was a trailblazing pioneer the feminist movement in the 1960s and ’70s; for decades, she has made work that celebrates the multiplicity of female identity. The exhibition features And She Vomited up the Sun and the Moon and then the night had its Own Light (1981) and her pyrotechnic Atmospheres series.

The exhibition title draws on the 60th death anniversary of Marilyn Monroe, whose death represented a departure point for female empowerment. A portion of proceeds will be donated to Women’s Aid.” [from the Gazelli Art House website]

Gazell Art House,
39 Dover Street,
London W1S 4NN
Tel: +44 207 491 8816
Link to exhibition website: [link]

“Amazons of Pop!” exhibition in Kiel includes Pauline Boty’s “Colour Her Gone”

Installation shot 2021 © Kunsthalle zu Kiel, Photo: Helmut Kunde

From 2 October 2021 to 6 March 2022, “Amazons of Pop! Women artists, superheroines, icons 1961-1973” at Kunsthalle zu Kiel aims to address the diverse Pop art of a generation of women from Europe and North America who constitute the less-well-known side of the movement.

“Amazons of Pop! shows women who fight for their own emancipation with determination and actively champion political and social issues. They transgress boundaries in the art of their time, which was dominated by men, and test new and unusual materials such as plastic. Play with fictive characters, personalities and heroines from the big screen pervades the work of these artists, who demonstrate a great passion for experimentation, fantasy, intrepidness and a sense of strategy, conscious of the tense geopolitical and social circumstances of their time all the while. Amazons of Pop! features approximately 100 pieces from the fields of painting, installation, performance, sculpture and film and invites visitors to delve into the world of pop and a period of awakening: the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s.” [from the Kunsthalle zu Kiel website]

The exhibition features: Evelyne Axell, Barbarella, Brigitte Bardot, Marion Baruch, Pauline Boty, Martine Canneel, Lourdes Castro, Judy Chicago, Chryssa, France Cristini, Christa Dichgans, Jane Fonda, Ruth Francken, Ángela García, Jann Haworth, Dorothy Iannone, Jodelle, Sister Corita Kent, Kiki Kogelnik, Kay Kurt, Nicola L., Ketty La Rocca, Milvia Maglione, Lucia Marcucci, Marie Menken, Marilyn Monroe, Isabel Oliver Cuevas, Yoko Ono, Ulrike Ottinger, Emma Peel, Pravda La Survireuse, Martha Rosler, Niki de Saint Phalle, Carolee Schneemann, Marjorie Strider, Sturtevant, Valentina Terechkova and May Wilson.

Organized by the MAMAC Nice in collaboration with Kunsthalle zu Kiel and Kunsthaus Graz, as well as support from Manifesto Expo.

Kunsthalle zu Kiel,
Düsternbrooker Weg 1,
24105 Kiel,
Tel: +49 431 88057-56;
Link to exhibition website: [link]

“Bright Stars: Great Artists Who Died Too Young” with chapter on Pauline Boty is out now

Pauline Boty illustration by Anna Higgie

“Bright Stars: Great Artists Who Died Too Young” by Kate Bryan examines the lives and legacies of 30 great artists who died too young. Illustrations by Anna Higgie.

In the book’s concluding “Unfinished Stories” section a chapter entitled “Grand Dame of Pop art” is devoted to Pauline Boty, who is also referenced elsewhere throughout its pages.

From the Quarto Group website: “Some of the world’s greatest and most-loved artists died under the age of forty. But how did they turn relatively short careers into such long legacies? What drove them to create, against all the odds? And how can we use these stories to re-evaluate artists lost to the shadows, or whose legacies are not yet secured?
Most artists have decades to hone their craft, win over the critics and forge their reputation, but that’s not the case for the artists in this book. Art heavyweights Vincent van Gogh and Jean-Michel Basquiat have been mythologised by their early deaths, playing a key role in their posthumous fame. Others, such as Aubrey Beardsley and Noah Davis, were driven to create knowing their time was limited.
For some, premature death, compounded by gender and racial injustice, meant being left out of the history books – as was the case with Amrita Sher-Gil, Charlotte Salomon and Pauline Boty, now championed by Kate Bryan in this important re-appraisal. And, as Caravaggio and Vermeer’s stories show us, it can take centuries for forgotten artists to be given the recognition they truly deserve.
With each artist comes a unique and often surprising story about how lives full of talent and tragedy were turned into brilliant legacies that still influence and inspire us today. This is a celebration of talent so great it shines on.”

“Bright Stars: Great Artists Who Died Too Young” by Kate Bryan

Publisher: Frances Lincoln 
Format: Hardback 
ISBN: 9780711251731
Dimensions: 138 mm x 216 mm
Pages: 224
Illustrations: 60
Price: £16.99 / $22.99

New page – Sources: “It’s a Man’s Word I” – identifies ancient Greek sculpture and source for the first time

Key for “It’s a Man’s World I”, 1964.

The key above showing the different individuals and objects assembled by Pauline Boty for one of her most important works, her 1964 painting “It’s a Man’s Word I”, has now been added to the site. Among the figures newly-identified are the 4th century BC Greek statue of Hermes and also Thelonius Monk as a likely contender for another of those represented.
As stated on the page, it is greatly hoped that in time the sources of all the items chosen by Boty to make up the work will be identified and the list on this page completed.
All comments, corrections, clarifications and suggestions on this item would be greatly appreciated, via the Contact form here: [link]
The new page can be accessed here: [link]

Pauline Boty features in two episodes of “The Great Women Artists Podcast” by Katy Hessel

Presented by art historian and curator, Katy Hessel, The Great Women Artists Podcast interviews artists on their career, or curators, writers, or general art lovers, on the female artist who means the most to them.

Episode 64: Ali Smith on Barbara Hepworth, Pauline Boty, Tacita Dean, and Lorenza Mazzetti

The current and final episode of the series features Katy Hessel speaking to author Ali Smith about the artists who act as the ‘spine’ for her recently-completed series of four stand-alone novels, grouped as the Seasonal Quartet: 

One of the most important artists to change the face of British Pop Art (as well as being an Actress, TV star, radio commentator, who read Proust) Pauline Boty EPITOMISED the possibilities of the modern Pop woman. She captured the glamour and vivacity of the 1960s, including those of music stars to film icons, think Marylin to Elvis, Boty worshipped the proliferation of imagery available in the post-War era.

The Titan of British sculpture, Hepworth set up a studio in St Ives during World War II, and is hailed for her small-to-colossal hand-carved wooden sculptures. Cast in stone and bronze, sometimes embedded with strings or flashes of colour, and  fluctuating between hard and soft, light and dark, round and straight, solid and hollow, the spirit of Hepworth’s work is at the spine of Spring and through Ali’s incredible writing makes us SEE differently.

Filmmaker and artist, Dean, seven-metre-wide work The Montafon Letter is a vast chalk drawing on nine blackboards joined together, looms in Spring (and is also an exhibition visited by the protagonist Richard at the Royal Academy). Dean says in some ways the work about Brexit and about hope; “hope that the last avalanche will uncover us”. Much like Smith’s post-Brexit novels.

A new artist for me, this story of the Italian-born filmmaker who came of age in the 1960s is one of the most profound in the history of art. I am not going to tell you anything else other than listen to Ali tell her story.” [From The Great Women Artists Podcast website] 

The podcast is available here:

Apple Podcasts: [link]
SoundCloud: [link]
Spotify: [link]

Episode 55: Dr Sue Tate on Pauline Boty

“One of the most important artists to change the face of British Pop Art (as well as being an Actress, TV star, radio commentator, a blonde who read Proust) Boty EPITOMISED the possibilities of the modern Pop woman. Known for capturing the glamour and vivacity of the 1960s, including those of music stars to film icons, think Marylin to Elvis, Boty worshipped the proliferation of imagery available in the post-War era.

“It’s almost like painting mythology, a present-day mythology – film stars, etc. The 20th-century gods and goddesses. People need them, and the myths that surround them, because their own lives are enriched by them. Pop art colours those myths.”

Dr Sue Tate is THE leading expert in Boty’s life and work. Without Sue’s work, conducting important primary research starting in the early 90s when Boty was barely known, in 1998 co-curating, for two London Galleries, the first solo show of Boty’s work in the UK for 35 years, In 2013 curating a major retrospective of Boty’s work at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, that toured to Pallant House Chichester and to Lodz, Poland, and authored the brilliant accompanying book Pauline Boty Pop Artist and Woman, we would not know about this brilliant, important and formative artist.” [From The Great Women Artists Podcast website] 

The podcast is available here:

Apple Podcasts: [link]
SoundCloud: [link]
Spotify: [link]

Katy Hessel’s Instagram account is at: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Sound editing by Winnie Simon
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield

The Great Women Artists website is available here: [link]