Older Lesbians making participatory and performative art
We are the Soup Collective, lesbians, feminists, old, stroppy, amusing, engaging and engaged in conversation about the things that matter to us. We develop and create work dynamically, from rich conversations around kitchen tables spread with cheese and humus and fruit and cake, and of course soup. We make use of what we have or that others have discarded to create artifacts and environments.
Who We Are
How We Got Here
The Soup Collective formed in 2017 in Hobart, Tasmania, when five foundation members, aged in their mid-50s to mid-80s, decided to work together to develop their art practice from a lesbian feminist perspective.
We felt that older lesbians’ voices were not being heard in the LGBTIQ+ space and wanted to make art that voiced our concerns and responded to issues that specifically affected us. Having conversations with our community so that their views, concerns and perspectives could be expressed became central to the way we work. Our collective voice is fundamental to our participatory art process and practice.
What We Believe
While the foundation members guide the work as a collective, we consider that everyone who participates is a member of the Collective whether that is through our consultations, creating or performing. Authorship is attributed to the Collective as a whole, and no one woman or group is named as author. Our membership grows, shifts and changes as we reach out, come together and are ourselves changed in the process of collaborative, creative engagement.
What We Envision
Our work has always consisted of installation, performance and participation using a community arts framework. It is based on discussion and conversations with older lesbians regardless of their ability, experience and cultural, economic and educational background. These women share and contribute their time, energy and creativity to the process of art making.
First, we use what we have, then we find what has been discarded by others and sometimes we purchase materials. Considerations of reuse and the impact of our consumption is a constant in decision making and in the work we produce. More important than polish or finish is participation not just in the development, but also in the making of the work.