A unique contribution to the architectural and social history of Bath, Architects, Angels, Activists and the City of Bath, 1765-1965: Engaging with Women's Spatial Interventions in Buildings and Landscape approaches the past with the methods of the architectural historian and the site-specific interventions of the contemporary artist. Looking beyond and behind Bath's strategic marshalling of its past, Cynthia Imogen Hammond presents the ways in which women across classes shaped the built environment and designed landscapes of one of England's most architecturally significant cities. This study argues that Bath's efforts to preserve itself as an idealized Georgian town reveal an aesthetics of exclusion. Jane Austen may be well known, but the role of historic women in the creation of this city has had minimal treatment within the city's collective, public memory. This book is an intervention into this memory; the author uses site-specific works of public art as strategic counterparts to her historical readings. Through them, she aims to transform as well as critique the urban image of Bath. At once a performative literature, an extensively researched history, and an alternative guide to the city, Architects, Angels, Activists engages with current struggles over urban signification in Bath and beyond.
Table of Contents
Contents: Introduction: getting to Bath; Part I Architects: The winged architect and the gendering of architecture; Architecture and gender in Bath, or how Selina Hastings' gothic chapel came to serve the history of Georgian Bath. Part II Angels: Falling women: the angels of Bath Abbey; Whispering walls: artistic interventions as a means to trouble the architectural imaginary; 'The ghost of Ladymead': the Bath Female Home and Penitentiary. Part III Activists: 'Every tree a staunch heart': the history of the Suffragettes' wood; The Suffragettes' orchard: towards a description of research-creation; Beyond angels, beyond architects: mapping the Suffragettes' wood; Conclusion: leaving Bath - looking to the built past, on behalf of the lived future; Appendix; Bibliography; Index.
'A readable and entertaining book, that deftly weaves together artistic concerns, heritage practices and historic material... An enlivening discussion of the relationship between historic understandings, artistic practice and contemporary uses.' Jane Hamlett, Royal Holloway University of London, UK
'... the real delight of the book is that it has been tightly written with immense thoroughness and fluency, making it absorbing, discursive, engaging, perceptive and sensitive.' Planning Perspectives