Artist Commission: ‘A Script for an Archive: Women’

by Judit Bodor, 2021

Image credit: Stills from Rose Garrard: Tumbled Frame, 1984, Catherine Elwes: The Critics Informed Viewing, 1982, and Katharine Meynell: Medusa, 1988. Courtesy of the REWIND Archive, DJCAD, University of Dundee, and the artists.

A Script for an Archive by Holly Davey is a recent body of work that the artist developed since 2019 mainly through large-scale installations including photography, sculpture, text, video and performance in exhibitions at The British School of Rome and the Danielle Arnaud Gallery in London and Chapter Art Centre gallery in Cardiff. Through this body of work, the artist explores – often marginalised – female voices within archival spaces.

A new artwork A Script for an Archive: Women has been commissioned through an Open Call as part of our Curating Living Archives research project in 2021 with funding from the Royal Society of Edinburgh.

For this new commission, Holly proposed researching women artists in the REWIND Artists Video Archive focusing in particular on works by Catherine Elwes, Tina Keane, Rose Garrard, Judith Goddard and Katherine Meynell.

Holly often explores ideas surrounding absence, place, and the body within her practice. She works predominately with archives and collections to explore the heritage of lost, marginalised or forgotten social histories embedded in these collections, especially around women’s lives.

A Script for an Archive: Women is an attempt to unlock REWIND’s potential as a feminist archive and at the same time address issues around the representation of gender in archival spaces in general. The work connects the experience of women and women artists past and present to confront us with the question ‘How would you like the future to be?’

Part of the curatorial brief to the artist was to consider our project’s website,, as the platform through which the new artwork will be primarily experienced. Using the website as such was not only practical given COVID-19 related restrictions on physical spaces, but also strategic to engage wider audiences with our media art collections at DJCAD which are only accessible by appointment.

We worked with Holly to develop her new work to be presented and experienced fully and only online. The artwork’s launch event (31 January 2022) was the only time the work was performed live. The recorded performance, the script and the digital collages have been accessioned into our collection and will remain accessible through this website as a multi-component digital artwork, including a script, the recorded performance, and a series of digital collages [follow the links on this page].

/excerpts from Judit Bodor’s introduction to the artwork as part of the artwork launch, 31 January 2022, Zoom/.