Sheena McGregor

Combining motherhood with running the workshop
Clip Title Combining motherhood with running the workshop
Interviewee Name Sheena McGregor
Interviewee Role Founding member of Glasgow Print Studio in 1972 and ran the workshop in the first premises, alongside Beth Fisher.
Interviewer Name Kerry Patterson
Interview Date 12 June 2013
Clip Length 2 minutes 27 seconds


SM: I was actually expecting my first baby, who was born in seventy-three, which I think might have been the year it opened.

KP: Seventy-two -

SM: Ah right, well –

KP: - we have here.

SM: Yeah, well we must have opened the year before – I think I remember all that winter being quite pregnant. No, it must have been the spring. I remember wearing dungarees and a lot of painting, then Josie was born in September. And I’m being completely naïve, and Beth [Fisher] asks me would I start in January because by that time she was pregnant. And, thinking it would be absolutely no bother having a baby in the workshop but of course, it’s not quite like that. But my daughter spent a lot of time in the rag box, ‘cause that was the safest place for her.

KP: Yeah so, Beth- Beth was explaining that the two of you kind of split the duties really in-

SM: We did.

KP: - running it.

SM: Well she – I remember we had baby bouncers so we could [both laugh] put those babies in rag boxes and in baby bouncers and, just to try let us work. Ah, and it was very kind of alternative and hippy-ish in those days. But it was very much about trying to keep working as a, you know, a new mother. And trying to keep in touch with the art world which - it was difficult.

KP: I mean, Beth was kind of seeming to say that people were a bit kind of scathing about the fact that you were two women with, with babies –

SM: Very much so.

KP: And maybe were a bit surprised, at least –

SM: Yeah.

KP: - that you managed to kind of keep it going.

SM: Yeah. We did.

KP: So you were kind of coming up against a bit of opposition then.

SM: Yeah, it was, I suppose it was a much more masculine time in the art world. I was quite surprised to see the [most recent Glasgow School of Art] degree show - how many women painters there are now. Even in the Art School there was a kind of resistance to women in fine art I think. We were supposed to be in the embroidery and weaving department. Colouring in, in a corner. It was a good, a good time.

KP: So how long were you involved with the Print Studio for?

SM: It was probably about three years, but then uh, no I was paying someone to look after my little girl and I did feel that I’d rather be with her at that point. And I think, I didn’t really enjoy being a technical assistant very much. It kind of put me off prints. There was so much, um, donkey work in cleaning up after other people so I started painting because I think painting’s much easier when you’ve got a small child, so I moved more into painting. But I think I rejoined [the Print Studio] a few years ago but then I ended up um, being made the director of the wee charity I work for, you know I trained as an art therapist? So I- I kind of went in a really, another direction. But I do miss the prints and the- the smell - the smell brings back memories, you know. And I do love prints