Kay Goodridge and Sally

Kay Goodridge
and Sally

Title of Series: Down to Zero
Artist: Kay Goodridge
Conversation Partner: Sally
Material: Photographic Montague and Audio Interview
Dimensions: 20″ x 16″ / 16″ x 20″
Kay’s Website: Click Here

Suitcase With Wedding Photo

Kay and Sally have been neighbours for over 30 years and have become friends during that time. Although their lives and lifestyles are different now, they decided to be conversation partners to examine some of these differences. What they discovered, however, was how much they both had in common, especially in terms of their early lives in the 1950s and 1960s. They were both brought up in working class families, with their fathers the main breadwinner at a time when a mother’s place was well and truly in the home. Their closeness and history come through in the sound-piece as they reminisce about the joys and challenges of bringing up their children, and the barriers that they have had to negotiate throughout their lives. They talked about their different responses to this and to opportunities, or lack of them, that made a difference to their lives. Sally’s sister, Jane, died in January 2019.

When Kay asked Sally to be her conversation partner in April, this coincided with Sally’s brother-in-law giving Sally their Nana’s suitcase, full of family memorabilia, which had been stored under Jane’s bed, untouched and covered with many years of dust. It was this she brought to the conversations, and while looking through family photos, documents, receipts, train timetables and memorabilia Sally shared memories of her childhood. Sally’s grandad and dad both worked for British Rail – as did Kay’s grandad. Her father and his family were able to take advantage of free rail travel throughout the UK, which explains some of the holiday photographs in different locations. Kay and Sally worked together on creating a series of montages that reflect some of these memories. Sally, who was 57 when this work was carried out, was brought up in a working-class family in Cambridge. She has three children, whom she has brought up as a single parent and sole breadwinner for over 16 years.

Since leaving school at 16 and having her first child in her early twenties, she has had many low paid jobs that had to fit into her childcare responsibilities. The inequality she experiences, but did not recognise until she started to unravel various threads during our conversations, is a result of being brought up as working class, in an (often invisible) system that does not offer equal opportunities for all members of society. There have been times when she has not been able to feed her family. As a strong, resourceful woman, she has had to fight the mental health system, the legal system and education system for her family’s wellbeing, despite the institutionalised and internalised class inequality she has faced and continues to face daily e.g. low pay, zero hours contracts, poor housing and rising living costs.

Title of Series: Down to Zero

Artist: Kay Goodridge

Conversation Partner: Sally

Material: Photographic Montage and Audio Interview

Dimensions: 20″ x 16″ / 16″ x 20″

Kay’s Website: Click Here

Listen to a Conversation Between Kay and Sally:

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