Redell Olsen with Anya Lewin

Working Note

I started reading about the history of fur garments and imagining all these parallels between writing and clothing. In my mind there became a connection between the whole history of writing on parchment that used to be the hide of an animal, the skin of something and the history of fur and representations of female sexuality. Did you know it wasn't until the twentieth century that people started wearing fur on the outside of their clothes, until then it had been worn on the inside? Similarly, there is a right and a wrong side for writing on parchment. The wrong side is hairy. I was wondering if women writers might be on the hairy/furry side of writing and what it might be like to try and write a text that acknowledged this furriness.

This version was created specifically for the web and was devised as a collaboration with new media artist Anya Lewin.


Book of the Fur   (this piece opens in a new browser window)


BIO: Redell Olsen was born in 1971. She studied English at Cambridge and has since completed an MA in Fine Art. She has worked in video, performance and installation and is currently researching for a Ph.D. at the University of London on crossovers between the visual arts and poetry. She runs the imprint Allsingingalldancing and lives in London. Publications: Book of the Fur (rempress, 2000), Book of the Insect (allsingingalldancing, 1999).

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