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Thursday, 23 March 2017

Women Artists: Power and Presence at the Otter Gallery

This is a brilliant exhibition at the Otter Gallery situated in the main building at Chichester University
runs until April 16,  for opening hours please check the website.
I took this information about the exhibition from their website:
This major exhibition showcases selected work by women artists from the complementary collections held by the University of Chichester and Swindon Museum and Art Gallery and also features significant loans from private collections across the country. It includes work by Eileen Agar, Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Vanessa Bell, Sandra Blow, Prunella Clough, Mary Fedden, Gluck, Maggi Hambling, Gwen John, Alice Kettle, Mali Morris and Lucie Rie, and celebrates their varied contributions to the spirit and practice of British Art.
The title ‘Women Artists’ is intentionally provocative; the term should not be used as a label or box in which to pigeon hole an artist, but rather as means to express the fact that women (like men) have many varying inspirations, aesthetics and ideas. This exhibition seeks to address a certain imbalance in the way genders are represented in art galleries; the variety of styles, subjects and medium in this exhibition highlights the fact that women artists can not be categorised into a singular identity. Some works directly engage with a gendered subject matter and in others gender is subtler perhaps immaterial to the artist or artwork.
The exhibition is curated by Dr Gill Clarke, Visiting Professor at the Otter Gallery, University of Chichester
‘Through over 40 varied works including paintings, ceramics and wall hangings, the exhibition reappraises the work of both distinguished and lesser-known women artists seeking not to create a false homogeneity but rather to explore a range of traditions and styles with which they were involved. Their life stories are as compelling as the diverse work they produced and taken together this enables the revealing of a more complex picture of their contribution to the practice and spirit of British art than might be first thought.’     Gill Clarke
Women Artists: Power and Presence will be accompanied by a varied programme of events for both children and adults.
I've taken photos of the walls and of particularly interesting things. Gill Clarke has written superb notes for each item on display.
You will recognise the Gillian Ayres below and the printing painting above
The third wall:

I loved this painting above, it's by Martina Thomas in 1949, from a private collection, entitled 'Seated Nude'. It's very satisfyingly composed.
And below, this etching by Laura Knight, 1926, is entitled 'Putting on Tights' is exquisite, as is the information about Laura Knight and quotes from her that accompany the picture. Firstly I thought there weren't tights in 1926, then realised they are ballet tights.

This painting was very striking, it's oil on paper by Annie Kevans, called 'Joan of Arc'
In the case there were some charming things like this illustrated letter from Evelyn Dunbar to Jane Carrington who was in hospital at the time.

Above Evelyn Dunbar drawings, and below a photo of a plate someone else I know who visited the exhibition also liked. It says
'Good little Girls eat all their crusts and their hair curls, bad little girls leave crusts on their plate and their hair is straight'. The plate is illustrated by Gladys Peto.
Below, the whole display of Peto's work
Below a Swindon Museum and Art Gallery painting, looking fabulous, it's 'Descent of the Bull's Head' by Maggi Hambling in 1985.

These 2 Vanessa Bell paintings loaned form a private collection don't look anything like as zingy as they do before being reduced in size for the blog. They are tremendously bright.
Above is a Mary Fedden drawing of sunflowers which is lovely, but doesn't look much here, and below a Gillian Waite aquatint from 1982, Tea-table with Flowers.

Alice Kettle's Earth Mother with Child in metallic gold, cotton rayon machine stitch is stunning.
It's well worth a visit if you can do so before the exhibition ends.
The exhibition is sponsored by The Osborne Samuel Gallery
It's also worth visiting Chichester  for the cathedral, Pallant House Gallery and the market place, seen below.

1 comment:

  1. It is a good step towards promotion of women artists who are often not given sufficient place and attention to present their work to the world. Such steps are appreciable.