Hidden<->Seen is a co-produced art work with Fee Scott made between September-November 2022. Made possible with funding from the PROSPER research study at the University of Birmingham.

As an adult with lived experience of childhood sexual abuse (CSA) and as a former CEO of Devon Rape Crisis and Sexual Abuse Services  this co-produced artwork explores and reflects on Fee’s identity as a survivor of CSA.

Fee: I wanted to have a piece of art made that represented the changes in my sense of identity and expression, moving from the charitable sexual violence sector, to a world of freelance work. I hadn’t fully considered how constrained I felt by my high-profile role in the sector.  I feared the way that I would be viewed by commissioners and funders if I was to disclose I had experienced CSA myself…

How We Worked Together

Fee: I don’t know what I’d expected in a collaborative artistic process (even the phrase was new to me!).  But I was surprised by how ‘joint’ the process felt. I felt scared and anxious at the beginning.  I had that “I’m not at all creative” refrain running round my head”.  I felt safe pretty quickly. I chose Catherine because she had ‘form’ – I’d seen her work with women with lived experience of violence before.  I knew the level of thought and constant reflection I had seen previously. Catherine engaged me in an ongoing conversation and asked me unexpected questions that made me think in unexpected ways.

We didn’t know at the beginning what the artwork would be. The final print slowly came to be through a series of walking conversations in the woods (Haldon Forest and Woodbury Common, Devon) and at my studio.

After our first forest walk I returned to the studio and created a series of portraits using different mark-making techniques including monotype printmaking and drypoint printmaking. I also played with printing out photographs onto tracing paper and collaging, as well as making a little 3D maquette using acetate. I wanted to offer Fee a diversity of possibilities and show her a range of mark-making options. Fee chose the process of drypoint for me to work with.

So we returned to the trees, this time at Woodbury Common, and I took a series of photographs of Fee – some close up, some further away, some ‘hidden’, some ‘seen’, walking towards and away from the camera as well as standing still, crouching or leaning against the trees. As with my previous work Reclaim the aim was to see how Fee could have choice in how much she chose to reveal of herself.

And using print outs of a selection of these photographs, we gradually brought together a mock-up or design for the final piece. This took a couple of weeks of passing ideas back and forth, over email.

It remained for me to make the drypoint plate and to print it. Printed in both prussian blue and again in black – both choices presented to Fee once they were finished.

Fee: I find it difficult to describe what the work means to me.  It changes and is still changing

On 8th March 2023 International Women’s Day, Fee and I made the work public for the first time and spoke about the process for Occupy the Airwaves on Phonic FM (Thanks to Dreadnought South West for this opportunity and to Sharifa Hashem and Josie Sutcliffe for hosting us)