Feminist Substrate

Research output: Non-textual outputArtefact


Substrate is the key component of making paper. The first part in making the substrate is to break down all that is known into the watery mix to make something new. The argument is that new knowledge materialises with the bonding of atoms that physically mix with the substrate, binding it together to form something new. Tactile, soft, strong yet fragile, paper is the ultimate feminist ideal that should be called ‘her’, ‘she’, instead of ‘it’ in the making of paper. Paper can be made as skin mimicry. She does not stretch like skin does unless other materials are added to the substrate. Otherwise like skin, she easily tears, partly transparent, uneven in texture, paper retains memory and embodies materiality that can move forward into a feminist ideal. ‘It’s good to have a vision. Even if it’s flawed, or turns out to be not what you expected’ Mary Kelly described of her Post-Partem Document installation exhibited at the ICA in the ‘seventies’ (The Guardian, 18th May, 2015). The watery substrate is remixed, remade, out of chaos emerges new knowledge, materialised, chewed, embodied, containing some imperfections. She retains what has gone before and absorbs the new. The arguments are that these meta creations are the purest forms of feminist research, and the potential development of new scientific and creative materiality. Jules Findley PhD Textiles Research School of Design
Original languageEnglish
PublisherRoyal College of Art
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2018
Eventother - Royal College of Art, 25 May 2018
Duration: 25 May 2018 → …


  • Feminism
  • Materials
  • Substrate
  • Maternal


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