The utterance of language, whether poetry, prose or overheard whispers is the ephemeral tissue that draws us close to the other. In this moment ‘between’, when every aspect of life is challenged and recast, Cooper Gallery invites 12, a collective of women writers, to articulate and evoke a space for all of us.
12 compose their words in a space, an online space, in their own spaces, in this virus space, in the overlapping space of our minds. These words are water… the moment a space opens they rush in to fill it . . .
12 offer these words and the space around the words, for as long as it may hold.
Compressing their usual working method into weeks rather than months, 12 will institute a textual foray into this unknown moment.
12 is a collective of women writers using a shared Google document to post monthly poems in response to one another’s writing. The collective originally formed at the request of Sophia Hao, Principal Curator of Cooper Gallery in Dundee, in order to create work echoing the collaborative Feministo Postal Art Event of 1975-77. For that project, women made art at home and posted it to one another, generating home-based art collections and a tight-knit community of women artists.The poets in the collective so enjoyed writing in a safe and easily accessible space, with a simple constraint and support garnered from working alongside and in response to one another’s creativity, that they decided to continue. One poet writes a lead poem each month and the others each post a response. The writers in the original collective were Tessa Berring, Anne Laure Coxam, Lynn Davidson, Georgi Gill, Marjorie Lotfi Gill, Jane Goldman, Rachel McCrum, Jane McKie, Theresa Muñoz, Alice Tarbuck, Karen Veitch and JL Williams. Since then, Rachel McCrum and Karen Veitch exchanged places with Em Strang and Lila Matsumoto.