Victoria Beesley

From Her to Her

My Untaught to Shine performance is inspired by Caroline Norton, whose portrait hangs in the Out of the Shadow exhibition in Gallery Nine. Caroline Norton was a nineteenth century writer and social reformer. Her actions and campaigns raised awareness of injustices towards women that were enshrined in the British legal system.

In 1855, Norton wrote a thirty-three page open letter to Queen Victoria. This simple act impressed me. Norton was not allowed to vote and she had minimal legal status, but she refused to be powerless.

So in the spirit of Caroline Norton, I have launched a project called ‘from her to her’ – a living archive of letters written from women to women. My performance is an extension of this project. It is a chance to celebrate Norton’s activism, to acknowledge the plethora of excellent female role models past and present, and to prompt, challenge and laud women with influence.

Victoria Beesley

Victoria is a drama artist, teacher, director and performer. She has created work for a variety of Scottish-based companies including A Moments Peace, Toonspeak Young People’s Theatre, Scottish Refugee Council and Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. In 2013, Victoria set up and became Artistic Director of Terra Incognita, an organisation that specialises in using theatre and the arts to share the extraordinary stories of ordinary people. This summer Terra Incognita will be touring their new children’s theatre show My Friend Selma and launching a new audio drama written by young people living in Glasgow’s South Side. Victoria graduated from the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in 2010.