The Alice Colman Story
The 7th September saw the launch of my first book in print – Lady SCREEVER, the story of Alice Colman, the world’s first female pavement artist.
Lady SCREEVER book cover
At the end of the 19th century Alice endured inclement weather, overzealous policing, sexism, physical threats and marriage proposals to support her family by illustrating the streets of London.
As her work captured the public imagination, she became something of a celebrity – not just in London, but around the world. Her work covered the politics of the time, satire and popular culture, and influenced the burgeoning suffragette movement. Bold, distinctive and romantic, Alice was part of a ’screever’ movement that led to the street art we see today; an instinctive, accessible cultural movement that has shifted from subversive to celebrated, and become an accepted part of the established art world.
Alice Coleman Cir. 1914
I found Alice by complete accident; while researching this blog, I stumbled upon a number of old photographic postcards featuring lady pavement artists. I initially assumed the images depicted different female artists, so with very little information I decided to investigate; it took me almost four years to piece together the information, but eventually I amassed enough details about this remarkable woman to write a book about her. I even met with Alice’s living grandson who offered up family photos and details about Alice’s home life.
Lady SCREEVER launch photo
So the story of a once forgotten Victorian/Edwardian street artist can now be told. Wherever possible, I’ve tried to use Alice’s own words in the hope that her spirit and tenacity shines through.
You can purchase a copy of Lady SCREEVER from any good bookstore (Just quote ISBN: 978-0-9933796-0-4) or directly from Fig Mulberry Press, via Amazon priced £12.99. With the first 150 copies signed by the author (me!)
Also available via Amazon Kindle eBook download (ISBN: 978-0-9933796-1-1), priced £6.68 or enhanced Apple iBook (ISBN: 978-0-9933796-2-8), with additional sound clips and rare movie footage, priced £8.99.
Written by Philip Battle
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