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Observing Women at Work - Franki Raffles (1955-94) Reid Gallery, Glasgow School of Art

A research project led by Screen Academy Scotland Director, Alistair Scott, has worked in partnership with Jenny Brownrigg, Exhibitions Director, Glasgow School of Art, on a new exhibition to re-discover the photographic practice of Scottish-based feminist photographer Franki Raffles. Raffles established her name with her innovative work for Edinburgh’s Zero Tolerance campaign in the early 1990s. Her large-scale black and white images of women and girls in staged interior tableaux were displayed on billboards and buses across Edinburgh and other British cities. These positive images were juxtaposed with short captions in bold text, which summarised stark evidence-based research about the prevalence of male violence against women. It was the premature culmination of a career tragically cut short by her death aged 39 in December 1994.

Over recent years Alistair Scott, a friend of Raffles since the 1970s, became aware that her reputation as a photographer was in danger of being forgotten. She had left a substantial body of work including a number of important international projects. Scott set up the Franki Raffles Archive Research project, gathered together her entire photographic practice, and arranged for the work to be deposited with the Photographic Archive at the University of St Andrews. This new exhibition includes photographs from three projects: To Let You Understand…(1987/88), Women Workers in the Soviet Union (1989) and Zero Tolerance (1992/93). “This exhibition is important because it will give people today a chance to assess Franki’s contribution to documentary practice and her legacy as a feminist photographer” said Alistair Scott.     

Observing Women at Work - Franki Raffles (1955-94)
Reid Gallery, Glasgow School of Art, 4 March – 27 April