I am excited to introduce a new collective I am very proud to be a part of - Femtech Nottingham. We are a group of female art technicians, artists and curators carving the way for gender balanced tech teams across Midlands galleries.
Always keen to get hands on and practical, over the years I have worked on numerous painting, woodwork and small building projects. Towards the end of last year this experience culminated in both the realization that these valuable skills fit perfectly into the art world realm of exhibition installation and also my involvement in gallery technician work for the Backlit 10 year anniversary exhibition ‘Same As It Never Was’. As one thing inevitably leads to another, earlier this year I was invited to the first Nottingham gathering of female art technicians under the guise of Femtech.
Femtech is the brainchild of Effy Harle.
Herself a self-employed gallery technician, last year Effy received funding to research into the lack of female technicians in UK galleries and to ultimately “expose alternative ways of production where women are fundamental members of the team, and not just token females in the band of builders”. Femtech aims to build on these initial findings in a practical way, bringing together Midlands based females involved in exhibition production to gain insight, share experiences and collectively build on art tech skills.
After some initial planning sessions, we have worked together to outline plans for a series of workshops aimed at building confidence in gallery installation skills from basic to advanced, including essentials such as wall building and framing, through to our ‘techie wish list’ of welding, electronics and casting techniques.
Through my involvement as a trustee at Nottingham Hackspace, I was excited to be able to host and help provide facilities and tools for our first workshop ‘Plinth Making 101’. Thanks also go out to Hackspace, New Art Exchange, Ging Illustrator and Alex Pain for their help with equipment and materials for this workshop. A fun and engaging skill building session, we worked in teams to build plinths using industry standard tools and a healthy dose of grrrl power to make the session a great success.
Next up, wall building – watch this space!
If you’d like to get involved with the Femtech group or future workshops, Effy can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org . You can also follow along with our adventures on our Instagram account.