© Nicky Bird
This postcard features reproductions of four other commercial postcards, from Bourdeaux (France), Skala Eressou (Lesbos, Greece), Texas (USA) and Manchester (UK). It is number 14 in a series of 20 different postcards created by contemporary artist and academic, Nicky Bird to mark the 21st anniversary of the Glasgow Women’s Library (GWL) in 2012. To celebrate their anniversary the GWL commissioned 21 women artists to create new work inspired by items and artefacts in their collection. Bird chose to make work in response to the archive of the Raging Dyke Network.
Raging Dyke Network was a group of radical separatist lesbians active in the late 1990s. It spanned 52 locations in the UK, Europe, Canada and USA. The locations represented in each postcard reference places that formed part of the network. At the Network's centre was an activist in Norwich, England, who donated materials – including personal letters and 'zines’ (non-commercial, often homemade, publications dedicated to specialised or unconventional subjects) – to the lesbian archive housed at the GWL in 2000. Bird’s series of fine art postcards aims to represent the Raging Dyke Network's scale and make visible a history often overlooked. Bird aimed to do this without revealing the personal and political content that belonged to a group that identified itself in terms of its separatist gender politics.
The artist could not have produced these postcards without collaboration. Bird worked closely with GWL volunteer Alice Andrews in the production of this work. The backs of the resulting postcards are important. Here we find Andrews credited as a co-author. This collaboration addressed complex, sensitive matters related to the donor and the other women in the network, who are living subjects. It also allowed Bird to respect the donor's wish on who should view the materials.
Only two copies were made of each postcard. One complete set of 20 postcards is in the collection of Glasgow Women's Library.
[This text references: '21 Revolutions: New Writings and prints inspired by the collection at Glasgow Women's Library', ed. by Adele Patrick, 2014.]