Ailsa Read is a Yorkshire based artist, she studied MA Creative Practice at Leeds Arts University, graduating in 2015.  

Ailsa is a practice-based PhD candidate in the Art Design & Architecture faculty at the Univeristy of Huddersfield. Her current practice focuses on the persecution of the Lancashire Pendle Witches and their representation through art practice.

Ailsa Read newImage: Ailsa Read, Lascut image based on representaions of witchcraft. Image courtesy of the artist.

We asked Ailsa to tell us about her practice and what it was that made her select the MA Creative Practice at Leeds Arts University:

The scope of my creative practice is an enquiry into the dominance of male hierarchies in religious, political and social culture, the relationship this has with the persecution and sacrifice of women and how this can be interpreted in a contemporary art practice.

My investigation has led to the development of visual images of persecuted women using the technique of laser cutting.  This destructive process forms a metaphor for the subject matter, highlighting the connection between female persecution and vulnerability.

The post graduate MA in Creative Practice at Leeds Arts University offered me an opportunity to study in an exciting and vibrant environment, which was always supported by inspiring tutors to help and maintain a high standard of creativity.

I am now continuing my studies with a PhD at Huddersfield University where I have been invited to research the part religion plays in the persecution of women. I will always be grateful to the staff & tutors at Leeds Arts University for their help, inspiration and guidance in helping me to achieve this ambition.  

the witches walk

Image: Ailsa Read, The Walk from Barrowford to the Gallows at Lancaster, July 2016. Photography. Image courtesy of the artist.