Observing Women at Work, Franki Raffles
Glasgow School of Art Exhibitions

Event Type:



Reid Gallery Reid Building The Glasgow School of Art 164 Renfrew Street Glasgow G3 6RQ


4 Mar 2017 - 27 Apr 2017

Mon 10:00 - 16:30
Tue 10:00 - 16:30
Wed 10:00 - 16:30
Thu 10:00 - 16:30
Fri 10:00 - 16:30
Sat 10:00 - 16:30
Sun 10:00 - 16:30



‘Soviet Women Making Hay’, from the series ‘Women Workers in the USSR’
Franki Raffles, (1989), Courtesy The Franki Raffles Estate

Observing Women at Work, Franki Raffles

Event info

Observing Women at Work, Franki Raffles
4 March - 27 April 2017

Reid Gallery
Mon-Sun 10:00-16:30

Preview 3rd March, 17:00-19:00

Franki Raffles (1955-94) was a feminist social documentary photographer. This exhibition Observing Women at Work presents a selection of photographs and material by Franki Raffles [1955-94] from three bodies of work, namely ‘Women Workers in the USSR’ (1984/1989)’, ‘To Let You Understand’ (1987-88) and material from  the first ‘Zero Tolerance’ campaign (1992), entitled  ‘Prevalence’.  Zero Tolerance was a charity established by Franki Raffles and Evelyn Gillan, together with a small group of women who came together through working on Edinburgh District Council Women’s Committee projects in the late 1980s. Zero Tolerance was developed as a groundbreaking campaign to raise awareness of the issue of men’s violence against women and children. Raffles’ work will also be contextualised in this exhibition with works of key photographers including Margaret Fay Shaw [1903-2004], Helen Muspratt [1907-2001] and The Hackney Flashers Collective.  This feminist and socialist collective was set up in 1974 and included members Sally Greenhill, Elizabeth Heron, Michael Ann Mullen, Maggie Murray, Christine Roche, Julia Vellacott, Jo Spence and Ann Dekker.

Franki Raffles was born in Salford and studied at University of St Andrews. Following graduation she moved to Lewis, then to Edinburgh. She documented the lives of women and their work during travels with her family in the 1980s across Russia, China, Tibet, Nepal, India, Hong Kong and the Philippines. In 1992-93 she secured a Wingate Trust Scholarship to travel to Israel. In Edinburgh she also worked as a freelance photographer with schools and women’s groups. She exhibited in Stills Gallery, Edinburgh; Mercury Gallery, London; The Corridor Gallery, Fife; Pearce Institute, Glasgow; and First of May Gallery, Edinburgh.


This exhibition is curated by GSA Exhibitions Director Jenny Brownrigg. The Franki Raffles Archive is an Edinburgh Napier University research project, run by Dr Alistair Scott (Associate Professor, Film & Television, School of Arts and Creative Industries), who this exhibition is produced with. The photographs are held by University of St Andrews Special Collections Division. 




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