What if John Wayne were a woman?

Elspeth Mitchell, a PhD candidate in the School, was recently awarded a micro-residency at Leeds College of Art as part of the current Felice House: Re/Western exhibition.

Felice House is an American painter and Assistant Professor at Texas A&M University. Her Re/Western series offers a feminist interrogation of the western genre, featuring portraits of cowboys who are women.

The micro-residency was established in collaboration with Corridor8 magazine. Corridor8 is a platform for contemporary visual arts and writing in the North of England, edited by School of Fine Art, History of Art and Cultural Studies alumna Lara Eggleton. It explores critical and creative forms of art writing, with a particular interest in the relevance of contemporary art (its production, display and reception) to wider issues and contexts. It also supports a number of critical writing residencies alongside events and printed publications.

This opportunity was open to writers based in the Yorkshire region, at an early stage of their career and with a genuine interest in working closely with artists, curators and editors to evolve their writing practice.

As part of the micro-residency, Elspeth spent two days at Leeds College of Art during the Felice House: Re/Western exhibition in January and worked alongside the artist, curator and Corridor8 editors.

The results of the writing residency was published on Corridor8 in February and it was included in a printed catalogue alongside the exhibition.

Elspeth Mitchell said:

“The micro-residency at Leeds College of Art was an exciting opportunity to work with an artist, curator and editor in a manner I hadn’t before. The intense period spent discussing and writing alongside the exhibition, in situ, allowed me to develop a piece of new writing that was more than ‘just’ a review.

“Corridor 8 is an excellent platform for critical art writing in the North of England and these opportunities and events are important for making this work more visible.”

Elspeth’s essay What if John Wayne were a woman? can be read here on Corridor8’s website.

The exhibition at Leeds College of Art runs to 24 March and has been accompanied by a programme of classic western film screenings including ‘Johnny Guitar’ (1954) and ‘Westworld’ (1973).