Private Women - Public Place is a projection based installation piece, created in collaboration with artists Bethe Bronson, specifically for the Edwardian Ladies Cloakroom Space (Bristol - 2016).

 

During the intial stages of the project, we researched the representation of women and the kinds of activities they carried out during the Edwardian era, drawing information from original newspaper articles of the period. 

Public Space – Private Women
Edwardian Cloakroom Bristol
Bethe Bronson & Laura Marker


“Women are advancing with rapid stride towards the very forefront of public and business life. It is a sign of
the times that the appearance of the first lady barrister at the French Bar synchronises with the appeal of an
English lady to the Lord Chancellor for the right to be called to the English Bar. At the same time too, we
hear from an Oxford professor that the only objection to be urges against the presence of lady students at
lectures for men is that indispensable horror, the picture hat, renders it essential to relegate its wearers to the
back of the lecture hall.


St James Gazette, December 1, 1903

 


“The wonder really is not that there are so many but that there are so few fatal accidents to women cyclists,
for it is impossible to go out any day without seeing the most flagrant disregard on their part of the rules of
the road and of the commonest kind of caution.....When they find they are not to be allowed to have their
own way they get flurried, and endanger their lives by wobbling frantically, or making those insane rushes
that so frequently end in disaster, either to themselves, or their machines, or both.”


The Courier, Thursday September 20, 1900

 


“Women make better drivers of motors than men, according to an expert correspondent. When a women, he
tells us, once determines to run a machine she learns in half the time it usually takes a man to master the
mysteries of the steering gear, brakes and levers, and as a rule she makes a better driver, for she gives her
undivided attention to learning how, which men rarely do. With her quick intuition she seems to know
instinctively when something is wrong with the machinery, and with a little explanation she learns how to
repair simple breaks, such as frequently occur when one is travelling”
The Evening News, Thursday, August 30, 1906


“I do not think it desirable” he said “that women should drive motor-cars without the assistance of a man. A
woman might be able to drive a car, but where will she be if anything goes wrong with the mechanism. That
is essentially a mans province.”

 

Yorkshire Telegraph and Star, Wednesday Evening, June 4, 1913

 

“Miss Alcock remarked that the popular idea that corsets where essential to the support of the body was
highly erroneous. What they did was to compress the respiratory organs, and so prevent abdominal or deep
breathing. Anaemia, consumption, indigestion and other complaints common to the sex were largely
attributable to the wearing of corsets”


The Daily News, Monday, November 16, 1903

 


“By the marriage service of the American Methodist Episcopal Church brides will be called upon in future to
“love, honour and keep” their husbands instead of “love, honour and obey” them. A good many women in
the past have made an mental reservation on reading the word “obey”....

 

The Citizen, Saturday, August 19, 1905