Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wildcat Cards – Sheffield’s feminist art collective

This month, a fascinating set of documents was deposited at Sheffield Archives which will be of interest to students of history, politics and art alike - the records of Wildcat Cards.

Wildcat Cards was founded in Sep 1988 by the Sheffield-based cartoonist and graphic designer Fi Frances in order to make women's art more accessible to the public via high quality cards promoting images and messages by women for women.  The project related Fi’s skills in graphics and cartooning to the politics of feminism and other radical campaigns which she was involved in.  Wildcat Cards produced greetings cards, postcards and posters designed by women artists and actively sought input from women in a wide range of different life situations (from different classes, ethnic backgrounds, sexualities, abilities, ages and educational and political backgrounds).  Some designs were produced as support cards for women's organisations and campaigns such as ‘Sheffield Women Against Pit Closures’.

By 1990, Wildcat Cards was an established collective of four women: Fi Frances, Maya Chowdhry, Mal Finch and Judith Dixon.  The Collective increased to seven members by 1991, and designs were submitted by a number of different female artists.  Wildcat Cards remained based in Sheffield and the majority of its business was through mail order.  Although the Collective was dissolved in 1992, the business continued to operate until 1994.

The collection of card designs and posters was deposited at Sheffield Archives by Angela Martin, a former member of the Wildcat collective.  To view the collection (ref. X649) contact Sheffield  Archives  

Pictured (above) 'Why the hell should I?' and (left) 'Post Feminism' both by Angela Martin.