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NOT NOTHING/IT’S SOMETHING explores an embodied approach to materiality to investigate the loss of self and gender politics in relation to creative freedom through a series of metaphorical artworks. Materiality and humour are used to interrogate gender oppression while seeking to strengthen the artistic voice and create emotionally resonant artworks.

Subversive humour was used when conceptualising the work, to communicate concerns about gender discrimination and women’s oppression. Conversely, the notion of a feeling of ‘nothing’ is explored as a terrifying human experience, a depressing state of mind and as the origin of meaningful creativity.

An embodied materiality is engaged using a diverse range of gestures as part of the search for a feminist creative voice. Intuition, humour and other bodily ways of knowing are used to advance sensuous understanding alongside a more conceptual approach. Catharsis characterises the movement of the project. I move from seeking gestural release for feelings of rage to creating a calm place where emotions can be held and recognised, and finally into a more defiant, self-reflexive mode in which I work with text and voice.

This self-reflexive, multimedia art practice is situated in a community of feminist, sculptors, painters, sound, text and installation artists including Cornelia Parker, Louise Bourgeois, Guerrilla Girls, Etel Adnan and Therese Oulton. Drawing on the feminist perspectives of philosopher Elizabeth Grosz, gender theorist Judith Butler and writer Rebecca Solnit, I explore the lived experience of gendered oppression and female embodiment.

Cut out letters, white on white, on paper to create a text.
Geraldine Richards, YOU ME YOU YOU, 2022.


A painting on linen, suspended by wires to the ceiling. Attached with stitches to assembled stretcher bars.
Geraldine Richards, YOU’RE NOT WORTH MUCH, 2020.





Geraldine Richards