Artists: Alexis Soul-Gray, Alice Macdonald, Amanda Lebus, Cherry Pickles, Claudia Carr, Elaine Woo MacGregor, Jenny Blake, Kim Scouller, Liane Lang, Lucy Spanyol, Olivia Mansfield, Perienne Christian, Rae Birch Carter, Rebecca Harper, Sarah Lightman, and Sonia McNally.
Curator: Jenny Blake
10th - 16th September 2022
Private view 9th September 6.30 - 8.30pm
As the centenary of the Surrealist movement approaches, this exhibition brings together works by fifteen female contemporary artists to celebrate the legacies of the pioneering Surrealist women. United by this shared appreciation, yet creating works as multifaceted and diverse as the Surrealist movement itself, the artists explore how histories, religions, folklore and the present day inform their personal experiences and practices, looking outwards and inwards simultaneously.
Luminous dreamscapes billow and twist across canvases; a female protagonist from an old master painting is constrained within the drudgery of modern domestic chores; the hazy form of a woman is obscured by dripping ink, bleach, and spray paint. These works, along with many others in the exhibition, some of which are on display for the first time, are an exploration of women’s psychological and emotional states, melding the concrete with the imagined. They transform the everyday into beautiful transcendent visions, haunting spectres and fantastical amalgamations, building upon the foundations of the female Surrealists who paved the way for such insightful expressions of womanhood.
The Surrealist movement began in 1924, and from its inception women have played a central role, with such luminaries as Frida Kahlo, Dora Maar and Leonora Carrington exploring the female subconscious mind through art. This exhibition celebrates their achievements by displaying their ongoing inspirational power in the works of contemporary female artists, from Alexis Soul-Gray and Elaine Woo MacGregor’s poignant contemplations on motherhood and childhood and Rebecca Harper’s focus on transience and displacement, to Perienne Christian, Liane Lang, and Sarah Lightman’s artworks which examine their present through reflecting on women’s past. Amanda Lebus, Olivia Mansfield, Sonia McNally and Lucy Spanyol explore the collision of reality and the dream world through myth, folklore and inner visions, while Alice Macdonald, Claudia Carr, Jennifer Blake, Kim Scouller and Rae Birch Carter present artworks routed in drawing and close observations of nature, yet which incorporate the Surrealists’ playful, ambiguous spirit. The exhibition presents the multiple creative avenues of female expression and experience, questioning the boundaries between individual vision and collective knowledge.
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