Reading Between the Sheets – Aritha Van Herk in Huddersfield

‘The Eloquence of Laundry’ was the title of this, the third talk in Aritha’s tour.  She spoke to a packed house of students, lecturers, teachers and other readers.  Despite a few technical glitches, Aritha waltzed through a dizzying variety of representations of laundry in photography, art and film.  From Venice to India, and from Warwick to the Canadian backwoods, we saw hanging laundry and the act of laundering as an expression of the inevitability of grime, the sensuality of colour and cloth and of domestic pride in women. From Paul McCartney displaying his working class roots, through Odysseus’ encounter with laundering sirens, to Canadian settlers ‘advertising’ for women through being photographed with their scrubbing board, we saw a fascinating array of portrayals of masculinity through the depiction of laundry. It was a rich, inspiring  and thought provoking talk.  Everybody who attended loved it, and we could all have talked for hours afterwards.  Aritha is here for two more events in Yorkshire tonight and tomorrow, so do check the companion blog entries for details of those, and do come along if you can.  We’re also hoping to have some contributions from attending dissertation students and alumni, with  a view of Aritha’s talks from the perspective of their own research area, which will be really exciting …. So watch this space!

One thought on “Reading Between the Sheets – Aritha Van Herk in Huddersfield

  1. This was a fascinating talk, with interesting critical perspectives on what I previously thought of as a relatively mundane topic. Aritha was captivating and her passion for all things laundry was infectious. The gallery was the perfect setting for what was an extremely relaxed and inclusive event. I thoroughly enjoyed it.

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