"The Most Wonderful Wonderful Parties": Gossip and anecdote as feminist epistemology in women’s oral histories of the creative community in postwar St Ives

Sinclair, Jeanie (2022) "The Most Wonderful Wonderful Parties": Gossip and anecdote as feminist epistemology in women’s oral histories of the creative community in postwar St Ives. Doctoral thesis, Falmouth University / University of the Arts London.

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Abstract / Summary

This thesis explores the history of St Ives' creative community using oral history
interviews with women from the St Ives Archive. Focusing on gossip and anecdote, I take
and develop eavesdropping as a methodology. In doing so, this reveals the importance
of feminine sociability and the locus of the party as an alternative, feminine creative
practice, and the complex relationships and support networks that developed between
women in St Ives' creative community. By listening to the voices of women in the oral
history collection of St Ives Archive, gossip and anecdote also provide a way to explore
women's experiences and memories of the town's bohemian creative community, and
reveal hidden feminine modernities and modernisms. The history of the post-war art
colony in St Ives has largely been considered through a masculine, modernist lens that
focuses on a small number of artists and a mostly formalist reading of St Ives through
their work. Little consideration has been given to the wider creative community of St
Ives, and to women’s experiences in particular. I argue that women were attracted to
move to St Ives in the years after the Second World War because of the towns'
reputation for utopian bohemianism, and the freedoms this promised. Women moved
to St Ives in order to make new and independent lives for themselves in an alternative
community that enabled them to pursue their creative practice, and participate in and
shape the community in which they lived.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: History
Courses by Department: The Falmouth School of Art > Fine Art
Depositing User: Ailsa Poll
Date Deposited: 09 Jan 2024 13:50
Last Modified: 09 Jan 2024 13:50
URI: https://repository.falmouth.ac.uk/id/eprint/5360

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