‘We are coming as comrades, friends, warriors to a state worthy of us, not to dolldom.’ - Marion Coates-Hansen
The Warriors unfolds overlooked narratives of twenty women’s lives in early Middlesbrough through archival research of trade directories and census/parish records, in order to question:
How did women contribute to the town’s development through trade/science/art?
What did their geographic and cultural origins bring to the town?
Why are they not commemorated in the townscape?
The Warriors reworks the keystone heads from the town’s former Royal Exchange building, now exiled ‘on spikes’ at ground level in Exchange Square. Here they become a collage army of women workers with stories to tell of their central place in Middlesbrough’s history.
Are they ancestral portraits, wanted posters or plans for future selves?
Annie O’Donnell researches identity, belonging and displacement through her sculptural practice. The Warriors continues the tradition of collage as a strategy for cultural critique, by highlighting women’s work experiences over time.
O’Donnell is represented by Platform A Gallery on Middlesbrough Railway Station’s Platform 1 and has a MFA and Ph.D from Newcastle University.
Download a free Collage pack to create your own Warrior here