Monthly Archives: November 2019

Artist in Residence 2020: Blood Lines

The St Andrews Centre for Contemporary art is delighted to announce that in spring 2020 it will be co-hosting its first Artist in Residence. Blood Lines: Exploring the History of Menstruation at the University of St Andrews is supported by a university Gender, Diversity and Inclusion (GDI) Award, and will be led by Dr Camilla Mørk Røstvik (University of St Andrews) together with Dr Catherine Spencer (University of St Andrews) and artist Bee Hughes (John Moores Liverpool University).

Bee Hughes is an interdisciplinary artist and researcher exploring with embodied experiences of menstruation through performative works that draw upon everyday rituals and routine and the feminist tradition of self-examination. Their work in poetry and sound art explores repetition and menstrual normativity encountered through online medical advice, considering how these frequently visited sites of medical authority now form part of the everyday experience of menstruation. During spring term 2020, Hughes will conduct three visits to St Andrews, and together with Røstvik and Spencer, explore various aspects of menstrual history in the town at a time when Scotland is leading the world on menstrual policies via its Period Poverty initiative.

The menstrual cycle is an everyday occurrence, yet it is also historically a surprisingly under-researched topic. Recently, however, there has been a dramatic rise in both scholarly and public attention to menstrual culture. The Scottish Government’s 2017 Period Poverty campaign has sought to change the way people relate to menstruation, but no research provisions are in place to track changes in behaviour or attitudes. Furthermore, no research about menstruation in St Andrews has ever taken place, despite the current historic roll out of free products on campus. Blood Lines is designed as a holistic intervention during this critical moment, seeking to understand the attitudes in the town, providing evidence of change (or lack thereof) connected to the new policy, and, through collaboration with the artist, creating a positive and lasting legacy for the town. We seek to create connections between artistic production and policy makers, sharing this research with them and showing how it can raise awareness, enable discussions, and in turn feed-back into policy-making.

Menstruation affects cisgender women, trans and non-binary folk in many practical and emotional ways, as well as having specific cultural and religious significance for many different groups. By providing evidence-based research of historic and current attitudes, as well as an artwork exploring these, Blood Lines seeks to start a positive conversation about menstruation at the University and beyond. We plan to work with the Estates Cleaning team tasked with rolling out the Period Poverty policy on campus and with the University Libraries and Special Collections; to document the historic activism by student  groups campaigning for access to free products (the Feminist Society, LGBTQ+ Society and various sports groups); and discuss community needs with the St Andrews food bank tasked with rolling out the policy in the town. Through this, Blood Lines will support research into a taboo and under-explored topic in St Andrews (and elsewhere) at a timely moment when evidence about the roll out of the Period Poverty policy is urgently needed, provide evidence for menstrual history in the town, and create a lasting legacy for the project in the form of a work of art.

Our current banner image is from Hughes’s work Dys-men-o-rrho-ea (2019): performance documentation, digital photographs with thanks to Milos Simpraga. This was a private performance aiming to make visible the physical and emotional discomfort, pain, and dislocation created by severe period-related pain. The performances produce a number of artefacts in the form of body prints on paper which contain fragmented medical texts and are documented in video, with a series of photographs taken at the session.

Workshop: Memes and Art History, 6th December 2019

Memes and Art History: Challenges for Research and Teaching

Coordinators: José Ramón Marcaida (University of St Andrews) and Luis Vives-Ferrándiz (University of Valencia/Durham University)

Date: 6 December 2019, Time: 2-4.30pm

Venue: F2 – John B Henderson Lecture Room, Castlecliffe

For registration please contact José Ramón Marcaida (


Welcome & Introduction

José Ramón Marcaida (University of St Andrews) and Luis Vives-Ferrándiz (University of Valencia/Durham University)

Session 1

  • From Atlas Mnemosyne to WhatsApp: words, images and the tradition of visual rhetoric in internet memes.

Luis Vives-Ferrándiz (University of Valencia / Durham University)

  • Meme-ing classical sculpture in social media and the classroom: A case of classical reception?

Lenia Kouneni (University of St Andrews)

  • Early modern persistent beasts and visual wit

José Ramón Marcaida (University of St Andrews)

Session 2

  • Bloody Good Fun: Menstrual Memes, Artists and Appropriation

Camilla Røstvik (University of St Andrews)

  • Sous les pavés, le meme!

Andrew Demetrius (University of St Andrews)

  • Should museums collect memes?

Nicôle Meehan (University of St Andrews)

Workshop organised with the support of the School of Art History, University of St Andrews, the Zurbarán Centre for Spanish and Latin American Art, Durham University, and the St Andrews Centre for Contemporary Art, University of St Andrews.

Tomás Ayuso workshop, Wednesday 13th November

Tomás Ayuso is a World Press Award winning photographer and a National Geographic Society fellow from Honduras, whose work explores Central American violence and the experiences of people in motion fleeing from it.

On Tuesday 12th November, Tomás will be giving a talk about his documentation of conflict and migration entitled ‘Bordering Life: Movement, Identity and Images from the US, Mexico, and Honduras’ in School III at 5pm, hosted by International Relations and the Centre for Art and Politics.

While he is visiting St Andrews, Tomás will also be very kindly giving a workshop on his activism and art practice on Wednesday 13 November, alongside an exhibition of his work in the Arts Building, in conjunction with the Centre for Contemporary Art.

The session will run from 2.00-3.30pm in Room 104, Arts Building, and all are very welcome to attend!