Obscure Secure 2013 – 2015

Obscure Secure was a collaborative practice based research project between artists Claudia Böse, Hayley Field and Jacqueline Utley.

From 2013-15 Obscure Secure looked at work by women artists in the Ipswich Borough Council collection, supported  by curator Emma Roodhouse. A period of research in the stores enabled the artists to make a selection of works – a decision was made to focus on women artists who were mostly born around the turn of the twentieth century – the same time as the artists’ own grandmothers. This gave them an understanding and connection of the broader issues of the time, around gender and class, through their own grandmothers narratives. They conducted research on the women artists from the museum’s archive files, acquisition folders and via any relevant publications they could find. Through this process they began to disseminate their learning into individual practice.

An exhibition of the selected artists from the collection alongside work by the Obscure Secure artists took place in the Wolsey Gallery at Christchurch Mansion (September 2014-January 2015), it was accompanied by a programme of talks.

Artists / Collaborators

Emma Cameron

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Martha Fleming

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Jane Frederick

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Mali Morris

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Stephanie Moran

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Valerie Sinason

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Frances Spalding

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Clare Price

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The collaborative project Obscure Secure started through a series of conversations around process. Guided by Collections and Learning Curator Emma Roodhouse, we started to explore work by women artists in the Ipswich Borough Council Collection held at Christchurch Mansion.


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Obscure Secure - Introductory talk and reception

This introductory talk and reception includes ‘out of the box’ viewing of Blanche Vulliamy’s First World War pastel drawings of London searchlights

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Saturday 6 September 2014

Art in Focus: Women as Artists

Art Curator Emma Roodhouse presents an interesting introduction to the female artists represented in the Ipswich museum collections. Includes tea and cake provided by the Friends of Ipswich Museums.

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Sunday 2 November 2014

In conversation – Frances Spalding with Valerie Sinason

Art historian, critic and biographer Frances Spalding discusses her work and reflections with psychoanalyst and poet Valerie Sinason.

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Saturday 15 November 2014

Does process matter?

Panel discussion facilitated by artist and art therapist Emma Cameron with artists: Molly Thomson, Jane Frederick, Claudia Böse, Hayley Field and Jacqueline Utley

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Saturday 29 November 2014

Obscure Secure at Studio 1.1

Obscure Secure at Studio.1.1 saw a reconfiguration of the Ipswich exhibition. Works made in response by the three artists were shown alongside documentation of the selected work from the museum collection. A discussion event led by artist and writer Stephanie Moran reflected on the learning from the project.

The project was supported by Colchester and Ipswich Museum Art Curator Emma Roodhouse and Arts Council England.

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26 February – 1 March 2015
Studio 1.1
57A Redchurch St
E2 7DG, London

Discussion and publication launch

Join Böse, Field and Utley in conversation, examining questions raised by the exhibition – in particular around painting, process, intuition and abstraction – that are addressed in Moran’s exhibition text.

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Sunday 1 March 2015


Acts of Retrieval and Conception, or, Painting Intuition

Essay by Stephanie Moran


Obscure Secure Publication

Collection of texts and images, Obscure Secure


Obscure Secure Exhibition poster/ conversations