Our Picks: External shows and news of interest
  • Magdalene Drwiega @ ASC Gallery
    15 February – 23 March
    At first glance this pairing seems a fairly disparate one but closer inspection reveals a number of shared interests and aims in Another Kind of Tension.  Paul Housley tends to stick to figuration and plays around with the traditional genres of portraiture and still life. Magdalene Drwiega works in bold colours and bold forms, often using plastic, rubber and concrete to create a contemporary take on modernist sculptural tropes. Both artists work in 2D and 3D and have a shared interest in the use of bold colour. Both have a strong drawing practice and are prolific in their production of works on paper.
  • Eve @ Amar Gallery
    23 January – 23 March
    Eve, is an exhibition of contemporary art that celebrates the female form and the fateful origins of womanhood. Incorporating mythical themes from the Genesis story - with particular focus on The Fall, heavenly wrath, nature and rebellion.  Eve brings together a collection of drawings, installations and photographs inspired by nature’s first heroine, as well as showcasing female empowerment within the context of modern society. ​ Each artist included within Eve carefully reimagines the Creation story through the prism of their own unique craft: Sonja Braas, Renee Cox, Guerilla Girls, Mekhala Bahl, Jenna Burchell, Antony Gormley.
  • Emilie Taylor @ Crafts Study Centre, Farnham
    2 January – 24 March
    A major new exhibition of new ceramics by Emilie Taylor, commissioned by Gallery Oldham. Taylor has a long-standing interest in representing the lives of people who exist in the gaps of society, which she describes as the Edgelands. Emilie’s latest body of work is inspired by the Greek myth of Persephone and Demeter, but in a contemporary setting.
  • Lubaina Himid @ Hollybush Gardens
    17 February – 24 March
    The Tenderness Only We Can See, is a new constellation of paintings by Lubaina Himid that moves across canvas and wood, in drawers and on case - one thing speaks to the next. For Himid “The paintings in the show are speaking different languages, to me and to each other; some of them are secret. Other lines of communication attempt to hold their inner narratives together, in the end old songs and other people’s poems are all that is left.” Music has a profound influence on how Himid feels and connects to the world, and here she has used four music related objects to navigate the exhibition space.
  • Clare Mitten & Gabriela Schutz @ Danielle Arnaud Gallery
    24 February – 24 March
    The Machine Stops is a group exhibition by artists Adam Hogarth, Clare Mitten, Gabriela Schutz and composer Martin Ward. It takes as its starting point E.M. Forster’s 1909 science fiction story of the same title, which describes a future in which humans live underground, with a global, omnipresent machine fulfilling all physical and spiritual needs. Direct experience between people and/or nature is rare and repellent; communication is instead made virtually through the blue, glowing plates of ‘The Machine’. Applying Forster’s dystopian vision to the present day, the four artists in this exhibition attempt to understand how screen-based technologies are mediating contemporary experience. Through painting, sculpture, sound and installation, they explore their fascination with the future of these technologies.
  • Laura Gannon @ Kate Macgarry
    16 February – 24 March
    Laura Gannon’s new works are abstract drawings made with metallic ink on linen. The linen has been subjected to multiple processes to reveal its corporeality: folding, bending, wrinkling. Gannon describes these works as “sculptural drawings” or “performative drawings”, suggesting both their raw physicality and directness. Although having the bones of minimalism, Gannon circumnavigates straight lines, masking tape and 90° angles. These physically-scaled drawings reveal both their humanity and relationship to the body. Gannon’s new works oscillate between drawing, sculpture and painting.
  • Ala Younis @ Delfina Foundation
    31 January – 24 March
    In this exhibition Ala Younis’s presents her major new installation Plan for Feminist Greater Baghdad (2018), co-commissioned by Delfina Foundation and Art Jameel.  The new work brings to the fore the significant contribution made by female artists, architects and other influential characters to the development of Baghdad and its modernist monuments, complementing Younis’s 2015 work.  
  • Andrea G Artz @ Art-CP Galleria
    16 February – 31 March
    The artist has created a wall-based installation comprised of Origami foldings that meander through Crol & Co’s space. Thee foldings are made of photographic portraits from different historical epochs. Each person was once portrayed and immortalised by a photographer.   The photographs existed as a memory, but, as time passed, they ceased into oblivion and turned up in early markets or charity shops, where the artist re-discovered them.   They are bent and folded into the third dimension in a playful way that gives rise to light, nearly weightless objects, space occupations or conceptual spaces.
  • Wendy Shaw @ Norwich Cathedral
    14 February – 1 April
    An installation by The Revd Wendy Shaw, made up of porcelain bones impressed with texts taken from Norfolk gravestones, is a feature in the Cathedral. The question ‘Can these bones live?’ and Wendy’s inspiration is taken from the book of Ezekial in the Old Testament.
  • Isabelle Cornaro & others @ Frith Street Gallery
    23 February – 6 April
    An exhibition of works by Isabelle Cornaro, Giulia Piscitelli, and Jessica Warboys curated by Rita Selvaggio. It deals with the idea of landscape, which for Warboys is reclusive and visionary, for Cornaro an abstraction of reality, and for Piscitelli a journey through space and time. The “Secret of the Landscape” consists of a physical, mental, tactile and spatial passage, implying a journey from one place to another, where emotional geography is expanded, fractured and then reassembled. Orgon Doors V (2018) by Cornaro brings to mind the mythical process of petrification—the gaze that turns to stone.  Sculptures flow from material to abstraction, from fetish to image, from object to subject, from subject to object, and back again. Warboys’ Sea Paintings are made below the high water line at the sea's edge. The sea, wind, and sand along with the pigment and the artist’s hand create forms through the movement of colour. The landscapes that Piscitelli presents take the form of geographical maps overlaid with gilded saintly halos.  
  • Ena Swansea @ Ben Brown Fine Arts
    1 February – 7 April
    This is the first UK exhibition of American artist Ena Swansea, whose work has been widely exhibited in the United States and abroad. The exhibition is comprised of nine mesmerizing oil, acrylic and graphite paintings, monumental in size and typically void of any specific narrative. Swansea’s new paintings produced over the course of the last year, allude to the artist’s background in film and digital art, which has led her to continually introduce elements normally associated with these technologies to otherwise traditional painting techniques.
  • Anna Reivila @ Purdy Hicks Gallery
    8 March – 7 April
    This is Anna Reivilä’s first solo exhibition in the UK. The exhibition, Nomad features photographic works from her series Bond: a study of the landscape through the act of binding and associating natural elements. According to Japanese religious ceremonies, ropes and ties symbolize the connections among people and the divine: a means to identify sacred space and time. Inspired by Nobuyoshi Araki's images and their mixture of raw violence, beauty and the nature of bondage, Reivila’s photographs study the relationship between man and nature.
  • Myra Greene @ Corvi Mora
    1 March – 7 April
    A solos exhibition by Myra Greene of her Inkjet prints.
  • Angela Sweet @ Southampton City Art Gallery
    3 February – 14 April
    Angela Sweet is exhibiting a new series of paper cuts in Sweet Cuts, all of which are based on light hearted word play.  Sweet has refined her practice and describes papercutting as “…fun, it focuses the mind and the imagination”.
  • Nancy Rubins @ Gagosian Gallery
    7 February – 14 April
    "Diversifolia,” is an exhibition of new sculpture and drawings by Nancy Rubins, and her first solo exhibition in London. Rubins transforms found objects and industrial refuse into expertly orchestrated abstractions that are fluid and rhizomatic in nature.  She employs a structural property called “tensegrity,” wherein individual parts are arranged in balanced compression and secured with tensile cables. Clusters of like objects—airplane parts, boats, carousel creatures, and more—seem to explode into space in all directions, propelled by their aggregated momentum.  
  • Vera Lutter @ Gagosian Gallery
    7 February – 14 April
    “Turning Time,” is an exhibition of eight new photographs by Vera Lutter. Lutter has created pinhole-camera photographs of architecture, landscapes, cityscapes, and industrial sites since the early 1990s. “Turning Time” comprises two series, one depicting ancient temples in the southern Italian town of Paestum, the other the Effelsberg Radio Telescope at the Max-Planck-Institut für Radioastronomiey in Germany, a radio telescope used for scientific research and recording cosmic activity in outer space. These studies of historical monuments and pivotal technological innovations reflect Lutter’s deep relationship with the forces of time.
  • Cecily Brown @ Whitworth, Manchester
    17 November – 15 April
    This is an exhibition of a extraordinary series of drawings by Cecily Brown, of wrecked ships and their passengers. Brown’s practice of painterly interrogation of an existing image, here takes on one of the most celebrated paintings in the world; Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa, 1819. Also taking inspiration from other Old Masters, notably Delacroix, Brown re-examines human presence, figuration and representations of maritime tragedy throughout history.
  • Marguerite Humeau @ Tate Britain
    18 November – 15 April
    Marguerite Humeau's research led process usually takes the form of large scale installations involving sound and sculpture, in which she challenges key issues of the day using complex narratives that synthesise the past with the present. Humeau’s installation, Echoes, is conceived as a confrontation between life and death, with the gallery transformed into part temple, part laboratory for the industrial production of an elixir for eternal life. At the heart of the space, two semi-abstracted white polystyrene sculptures based on Ancient Egyptian gods, Wadjet (King Cobra) 2015 and Taweret 2015, merge the organic nature of the human body with biological engineering.
  • Susan Philipsz & others @ Yorkshire Sculpture Park
    6 January – 15 April
    The works in this exhibition, drawn primarily from the Arts Council Collection, give insight into some of the counter-culture and anti-establishment movements of recent decades alongside work by artists who seek to make a difference, helping to suggest ways that we might contribute to change on an individual, community and even global level. Works include Susan Philipsz’ version of the rousing anthem The Internationale (1999), broadcast across the Bothy Garden landscape and A Jukebox of People Trying to Change the World (2003–) by Ruth Ewan which welcomes visitors into the gallery space.
  • Faith Ringgold @ Pippy Houldsworth Gallery
    23 February – 16 April
    This is the first European solo exhibition of acclaimed African-American artist Faith Ringgold. This follows her inclusion in the recent group exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power at Tate Modern, London earlier this year. The show will comprise an overview of the artist's iconic 'story quilts' from the mid-1980s to the present, alongside a small selection of early paintings from the 1960s. Throughout the 1960s, Ringgold produced politically charged paintings that shattered the notion of the American dream by highlighting racial and gender inequalities rife in society. A selection of portraits from this period will be on view, including several paintings from the monumental American People Series (1963-67).
  • IIona Keseru @ Stephen Friedman Gallery
    23 March – 21 April
    Hungarian artist Ilona Keserü visits London for her first solo exhibition, which follows on from her inclusion in Frieze Master's presentation (2017). The exhibition includes drawings, objects and paintings dating from the 1960s to the early 1980s.
  • Sofia Stevi @ BALTIC
    15 December – 22 April
    Sofia Stevi makes paintings, sculpture and works on paper. Drawing inspiration from literature, philosophy and the everyday, her works bring together a wide range of references, from the writings of Victorian poet Christina Rossetti, to found images on Instagram. Stevi’s sweeping lines and colours describe form with a sense of playfulness and animation. Her paintings capture fleshy fruits and soft body contours with a cartoon-like expressiveness. Made with Japanese ink on untreated cotton fabric, the works evoke the domestic but have a charged eroticism. Torsos and limbs dissolve into psychedelic patterns and washes of colour. Moving between the real and imaginary, Stevi’s works are often deeply personal, exploring the artist’s desires and dreams.
  • Eloise Hawser @ Somerset House
    31 January – 22 April
    Eloise Hawser's exhibition, By the Deep, by the Mark, takes you on a journey through a three dimensional mind-map of sculptures, audiovisual displays, medical hardware and archival materials. Featuring maps, models and measurements of the River Thames alongside cutting-edge diagnostic ‘phantoms’ (specialist machines rarely seen outside of a hospital or laboratory which are used to calibrate medical imaging equipment and analyse fluid dynamics within the body), it draws parallels between extraordinary feats of civil engineering and the intricate inner workings of the human body, suggesting a correlation between revolutionary urban and medical innovations in the way they measure, process and predict mysterious natural and bodily phenomena.
  • Rachel Adams @ Jerwood Space
    15 January – 28 April
    Right Twice a Day is a new sculptural work by, Rachel Adams. Its design is a culmination of features drawn from a traditional grandfather clock and The Maiden, a guillotine that was used between the 16th and 18th centuries as a means of execution in Edinburgh, Scotland. The work responds to the context of  The School House by bringing together two historical references: the concept of the modern restaurant, which was born during the French revolution, and decimal time, which was enforced for a short period during the Terror, shortly afterwards.
  • Laura Simpson @ Hauser & Wirth, London
    1 March – 28 April
    Laura Simpson's inaugural exhibition, ‘Unanswerable’, features new and recent work across three different media: painting, photographic collage and sculpture. Simpson came to prominence in the 1980s through her pioneering approach to conceptual photography, which featured striking juxtapositions of text and staged images and raised questions about the nature of representation, identity, gender, race and history. These concerns are reflected throughout the exhibition to present the artist’s expanding and increasingly multi-disciplinary practice today.
  • Lydia Halcrow & others @ The Pound Arts Centre
    3 March – 28 April
    Lydia Halcrow, Sarah Duncan and Nicolette McGuire’s work ranges from print-making and drawing to painting and installation. They have come together to share the experience of walking Porlock Bay, North Somerset over a period of months, recording the small shifts and changes in this complex place; one of the first places to be left to flood as part of the ‘Managed Retreat’ coastal management policy. 'Between the Shadows and the Light', begins an ongoing conversation about how you capture and convey the essence of a place, playing with scale and detail, focusing in on the minutiae that gives Porlock bay its unique identity.
  • Marie Zahle @ Arcade
    20 March – 28 April
    Marie Zahle says, "To me making art is about developing a structure which can exist spatially, realistically, with me. The Ocean collages are made in this very physical way, often on the floor, where I mess around with tape, scissors, and paper without quite knowing where the process will take me. It’s an enjoyment of touch and colour, the hand leading the way towards something which might be an image, and might just be a display of raw material".   The exhibition is called 'Trotsky and the Wild Orchids'.
  • Elizabeth Friedlander @ Ditchling Museum of Art & Craft
    6 January – 29 April
    This exhibition presents the story of the outstanding artist, designer and typographer Elizabeth Friedlander. The work of Friedlander (1903-1984) is instantly recognisable as mid-20th century design at its best, but few will know the name behind the art. Best known for her Penguin book covers and Bauer Type Foundry typeface ‘Elizabeth’; the exhibition touches on her escape to London from 1930s Nazi Germany, friendship with her sponsor – poet and printer Francis Meynell – and her work with a wartime British black propaganda unit. The show includes rarely-seen works from the artist’s compelling career including type design, wood engravings, decorative book papers, maps and commercial work. The exhibition is co-curated by video artist and author Katharine Meynell, grand-daughter of Francis Meynell, who recently shone a light on Friedlander’s little-known story by writing and producing ‘Elizabeth’, a film about the artist.
  • Virginia Woolf @ Tate St Ives
    10 February – 29 April
    Discover art from 1850 to the present, inspired by the writing of this celebrated author of classic texts including 'To the Lighthouse' and the pioneering feminist text 'A Room of One’s Own', Virginia Woolf spent much of her childhood in St Ives. This exhibition is led by her writing, which will act as a prism through which to explore feminist perspectives on landscape, domesticity and identity in modern and contemporary art - with works by over 70 artists.
  • Chloe Lamford @ Somerset House
    27 October – 6 May
    Chloe Lamford’s installation, Show Room, summons a theatrical back-stage to Somerset House itself, with abandoned architectural features, imagined vistas, theatrical props, shimmering curtains and transformative stages that provides visitors the opportunity to be a player in an as-yet-unscripted play.
  • Vikky Alexander @ Canada Gallery
    2 March – 19 May
    In the 1980s Vikky Alexander played a significant role in the group of artists now known as “The Pictures Generation”, who posed a new set of questions concerning art and the nature of representation.  The core of Alexander’s artistic proposition lies in the fantastic - in both the literal and figurative senses of the words. While playful, she uses a variety of media and techniques to make her point: mirrors, photographic landscape murals, postcards collected on her travels, her own photography and video.  For her first UK exhibition, 'The Spoils of the Park', Alexander presents colour photographs and pencil/watercolour drawings that reflect her interest in histories of architecture and design, focusing on locations such as the opulent grounds and interiors of European stately homes, places that speak to desire, aspiration, wealth, class and ideas of belonging.  
  • Yto Barrada @ Barbican Art Gallery
    7 February – 20 May
    For her first major London commission, Yto Barrada weaves together personal narratives and political ideals to create a complex portrait of a city and its people in a state of transition. The Curve is transformed with a dramatic installation – Agadir, which encompasses a mural, film commission, sculptures, and a series of live and recorded performances – to consider how a city and its people might address the process of reinvention following disaster. Barrada takes as her starting point a surreal text by Mohammed Khaïr-Eddine – Agadir  (1967) – reflecting on the devastating earthquake of 1960 that destroyed much of the modernist Moroccan city. Barrada’s multimedia practice explores questions ranging from migration to abstraction, from fossils to botany, examining the strategies of resistance employed every day in her native Morocco.
  • Sheila Bownas @ Pallant House Gallery
    21 February – 20 May
    A Life in Pattern, is an exhibition of original designs by the mid-century textile designer Sheila Bownas (1925—2007), a supplier to Liberty London and Marks & Spencer who remained relatively unknown until an archive of her work surfaced recently at auction. Her colourful patterns featuring playful scenes, floral and geometric motifs, captured the optimism of the post-war era. Curated in association with Chelsea Cefai.
  • Julia Margaret Cameron & others @ NPG
    1 March – 20 May
    This major new exhibition, Victorian Giants: the Birth of Art Photography brings together, for the first time, the works of four of the most celebrated figures in art photography, Lewis Carroll (1832–98), Julia Margaret Cameron (1815–79), Oscar Rejlander (1813–75) and Clementina Hawarden (1822-65). These four artists would come to embody the very best in photography of the Victorian era. Their experimental approach to picture-making and radical attitudes towards photography have informed artistic practice ever since.
  • Sondra Perry @ Serpentine Sackler Gallery
    6 March – 20 May
    Sondra Perry constructs multifaceted narratives that explore the imagining, or imaging, of blackness throughout history in Typhoon Coming On. Often taking her own life as a point of departure, she makes works that revolve specifically around black American experiences and the ways in which technology and identities are entangled. Her use of digital tools and platforms, such as Chroma key blue screens, 3D avatars, open source software, and footage found online, reflects critically on representation itself.
  • Sarah Cain @ Timothy Taylor
    18 April – 25 May
    The exhibition 'Wild Flower' is presented by Sarah Cain.
  • Jan Roe @ Pavilion Dance South West
    31 January – 25 May
    “I have been artist in residence with various dance companies since 2015". "The works on exhibition Lines of Action are poster storyboard and drawings from these experiences.  In the act of drawing I try to live the force of the dancers moment. I call this 'drawing the verb, the line of action'. Only afterwards when the drawings can be laid out on the floor is when one discovers the story of this process. Looking forward to seeing more development...” Jan Roe
  • Dayanita Singh & others @ Barbican Art Gallery
    28 February – 27 May
    Another Kind of Life follows the lives of individuals and communities operating on the fringes of society from America to India, Chile to Nigeria. The exhibition reflects a more diverse, complex view of the world, as captured and recorded by photographers. Driven by personal and political motivations, many of the photographers sought to provide an authentic representation of the disenfranchised communities with whom they spent months, years or even decades with, often conspiring with them to construct their own identity through the camera lens. Featuring communities of sexual experimenters, romantic rebels, outlaws, survivalists, the economically dispossessed and those who openly flout social convention, the works present the outsider as an agent of change. From street photography to portraiture, vernacular albums to documentary reportage, the show includes the Casa Susanna Collection, Paz Errazuriz, Pieter Hugo, Mary Ellen Mark and Dayanita Singh.
  • Jasmina Cibic @ BALTIC
    9 February – 28 May
    Bringing together film, sculpture, performance and installation into multi-layered projects, the core themes of Jasmina Cibic’s practice explore how art, architecture and political rhetoric are deployed and instrumentalised in the name of the nation. In This Machine Builds Nations, Cibic presents a site-specific installation that showcases the three films of her latest Nada trilogy presented for the first time in the UK. Setting and framing the scene, the artist devised chambers where specific architectural components are reconfigured.
  • Tacita Dean @ The National Gallery
    15 March – 28 May
    This exhibition is curated by Tacita Dean, and is guided by her understanding of the genre. Still Life presents a diverse selection of works in a variety of mediums. Works include – a new film diptych made especially for the exhibition, ‘Ideas for a Sculpture in a Setting’, and ‘Prisoner Pair’ (2008,16mm). These works feature alongside works by Dean’s contemporaries.
  • Serena Korda @ BALTIC
    9 February – 28 May
    Serena Korda works across performance, sound and sculpture reconsidering aspects of communion and tradition in our lives. Korda is the 2016-17 Norma Lipman & BALTIC Fellow in Ceramic Sculpture at Newcastle University, a two-year residency that culminates in this exhibition, 'Missing Time'. During her fellowship, Korda drew on inspiration from her location and the people she met. She became fascinated by the sound of stars from the dark skies of Northumberland, only audible with specific radio devices, and the pre-radar acoustic sound mirrors dotted along the North East coastline that attempted to detect the sound of enemy planes up until 1919.
  • Rachel Howard @ Newport Street Gallery
    21 February – 28 May
    An exhibition of Rachel Howard’s series of paintings, ‘Repetition is Truth – Via Dolorosa’. This body of work was the subject of a 2011 exhibition at Museo d’Arte Contemporanea Donnaregina, Naples, Italy, curated by Mario Codognato. Commissioned by the Murderme collection and produced between 2005 and 2008, the series takes inspiration from the Stations of the Cross, ‘Via Dolorosa’ being the path taken by Jesus to Mount Calvary. Whilst referencing the long art-historical tradition of depicting the Stations, ‘Repetition is Truth’ also offers a broader commentary on the universality of human rights abuses.
  • Tacita Dean @ National Portrait Gallery
    15 March – 28 May
    Tacit Dean is an artist who works with many mediums but primarily in film. Dean first came to prominence in the 1990s and is now considered to be one of the most influential artists working today. This major new exhibition, Portrait focuses on portraiture primarily through the medium of 16mm film. The exhibition is the first in the Gallery’s history to be devoted to the medium of film, and also reveals Tacita Dean’s own longstanding and personal interest in portraiture as a genre.
  • Ma Qiusha & Shen Xin @ Middlesborough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA)
    17 February – 3 June
    Two solo shows from Chinese female artists are presented as part of NOW. Female artists have long been marginalised and left at the fringes of Chinese art historical debates and this partnership project addresses this. Artist Ma Qiusha explores the cultural gap between her own and preceding generations. Her exhibition examines themes of personal identity and collective memory, and includes two commissions. Shen Xin’s work addresses power relations, intertwining the personal and the political. Her exhibition features the 'Records of Rites', a poetic inquiry into themes of cultural exchange and nationalism.
  • Tamar Guimaraes @ De La Warr Pavilion
    4 March – 3 June
    ‘I blew on Mr.Greenhill’s main joints with a very ‘hot’ breath’ presents moving image and photographic works from the last ten years, selected in response to the Pavilion’s architecture and social context. Together and separately, Tamar Guimarães and Kasper Akhøj explore the residual histories of art, design and architecture, exposing unexpected connections between states of rapture and modernity. Much of their recent work emerged from research undertaken in the small Brazilian town of Palmelo, many of whose inhabitants are Spiritist mediums.  
  • Isabel Nolan @ Bloomberg Space
    8 November – 3 June
    An inaugural installation, Another View from Nowhen by Dublin-based artist Isabel Nolan, which features two ambitious works that respond to the history of the location: The Barely Perceptible Vibration of Everything, a vibrant, hand-tufted tapestry, and Blind to the Rays of the Returning Sun, a large, open-form, painted-steel sculpture. The composition of The Barely Perceptible Vibration of Everything is based on various geographic and archaeological schematic representations of the ancient Walbrook River which lies beneath the site now occupied by Bloomberg. Making dramatic use of the exhibition space, this soft, expansive tapestry, describes the physical and historical layering of the location as a narrative of cosmic proportions. United by scale, the tapestry and the looming, angular sculpture have a peculiar, colourful kinship. Together they present a physically captivating semblance of the local landscape as though seen from an impossible perspective.
  • Suffrage Centenary
    9 February – 30 June

    February 2018 marks the centenary of the Representation of the People Act of 1918, which gave some women over the age of 30 the right to vote in the UK and catalysed the continuing fight for gender parity. While not a UK Friends of NMWA event, the breadth of activity across the UK merits our listings.

    Below we list how museums across the UK are recognising this with exhibitions and events. Click on the exhibition titles for more detail.Women’s suffrage started in the 19th Century, becoming a national movement.  By 1906, when sentiments hardened, the militant campaign began with the formation of the Women’s Social & Political Union (WSPU), led by Emmeline Pankhurst of Manchester.

    UK-wide, organisations are taking the opportunity to commemorate this significant anniversary in the form of exhibitions, lectures, plays, performances, music, book displays, and many other types of events.

    There are numerous exhibitions which aim to capture the effects of the movement, and cater for all tastes.

    The Centenary has led several groups to commission new work:

    There are myriad other exciting events to entice you, such as

    There is music and theatre!

    International Women’s Day –  occurs annually in March, and some organisations are using March to also recognise the Suffragettes.  A select few are included for your information:

    For a contemporary take on the topic of Suffragettes, read the very entertaining article ‘Meet the New Suffragettes’, in Vogue, February 2018. We can't list them all, but hope this flavour of events encourages you to look locally for even more suffrage celebrations.  Check inews, Stylist, The Guardian and The Culture Diary to name a few.

  • Joan Jonas @ Tate Modern
    14 March – 5 August
    Hero to a generation of younger artists, Joan Jonas is a pioneer of performance and video who has pushed the boundaries of art for the last five decades. You will be able to experience the largest exhibition of Jonas’s work ever held in the UK. Early works from the late 1960s are shown alongside recent installations dealing with topical themes such as climate change and extinction. You can see her landmark installations including Organic Honey, The Juniper Tree and Reanimation.
  • Florence Peake @ De La Warr Pavilion
    12 May – 12 August
    This is a performance by six dancers that takes place on a floor of seven tonnes of wet clay. Using materials that remain, the work will unfold into a summer-long exhibition. RITE: On this Pliant Body we slip our WOW! offers a layered reinterpretation of a pivotal moment in modernism’s history: Igor Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, composed in 1913 for Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. Florence Peake, who works across media, transposes Stravinsky and Nijinsky’s iconic ballet to what she describes as ‘performative sculpture’. Taking ritual, sacrifice, labour, community and fertility as themes, RITE celebrates the primal power of the body as an expressive force against conservatism.
  • Tacita Dean @ The Royal Academy
    19 May – 12 August
    Tacit Dean has a wide interest in landscape phenomena: from the unspoilt landscape of Bodmin Moor in England to the open rangelands of Wyoming in the American West to film a rare solar eclipse. Dean is a champion of photochemical film, yet her wide-ranging practice extends across a multitude of mediums. In the newly opened Gabrielle Jungels-Winkler Galleries, the internationally renowned visual artist and Royal Academician explores “landscape” in its broadest sense: intimate collections of natural found objects, a mountainous blackboard drawing and a series of cloudscapes in chalk on slate created especially for these spaces draws you into Dean’s vision. The highlight of the exhibition is a major new, experimental 35mm film, Antigone.
  • Corita Kent @ Ditchling Museum of Art @ Craft
    5 May – 2 September
    The ground-breaking work of Sister Corita Kent (1918-1986) comes to the Museum this summer. Corita was an artist and famously charismatic educator whose work reflected her concerns about poverty, racism and war – anxieties that continue to resonate today. A contemporary of Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha, her vibrant serigraphs, banners and posters drew on pop culture, literary and modern consumer cultures and were regularly to be seen at civil rights and anti-war rallies in the 1960s and 70s.
  • Sonia Boyce @ Manchester Art Gallery
    23 March – 2 September
    Focusing on work from the mid-1990s to the present the exhibition will reflect Sonia Boyce’s move from her earlier drawing and collage which explored her own position as a black British woman, towards more improvised, collaborative ways of working. These unpredictable, open processes have been documented through a range of media including photography, film and wallpaper. The gallery has also commissioned Boyce to make a new collaborative live work for the exhibition.
  • Yin Xiuzhen & Duan Jianyu @ Turner Contemporary
    21 February – 2 September
    Yin Xiuzhen is known for her large-scale sculptural works exploring themes of globalisation, memory and the fast-paced urbanisation of contemporary China. Xiuzhen often uses found materials and second-hand clothes, drawn to the memories and personal stories they hold. As the artist says, “in a rapidly changing China ‘memory’ seems to vanish more quickly than everything else.” Xiuzhen’s installation Digestive Cavity will take over Turner Contemporary’s Sunley Gallery. This is one of a series of sculptural spaces in the form of bodily organs. Visitors can venture into this room-sized stomach cavity, conceived by the artist as a place for stopping and slowing down.  
  • Virginia Woolf @ Pallant House Gallery
    26 May – 16 September
    An exhibition of works by over 80 modern and contemporary artists inspired by the writings of celebrated author Virginia Woolf. Following Woolf’s notion that creative women should ‘think back through their mothers’, the exhibition will explore her relationship to feminism and will reflect her efforts to find new forms through which to share women’s creativity. Including works by international artists ranging from 1854 to contemporary commissions the exhibition will act as an inclusive study of writers and artists alike, highlighting the many connections between Woolf, her contemporaries and those who share an affinity with her work.
  • Francesca Woodman @ Tate Liverpool
    24 May – 23 September
    A Gustav Klimt exhibition held 10 years ago is the forerunner of the works of his radical protégé, Egon Schiele, alongside the sublime photography of Francesca Woodman, in Life in Motion. Both artists are known for their intimate and unapologetic portraits, which look beneath the surface to capture their subjects’ emotions. Schiele’s (1890–1918) drawings are strikingly raw and direct. He had a distinctive style using quick marks and sharp lines to portray the energy of his models. ‘I show you what you do not see – the body’s inner force’, said Woodman (1958–1981), who used long exposures to create blurred images that captured extended moments in time. Her photographs can be surreal, humorous and at times painfully honest. The close encounter between these two exceptional artists offers an intense viewing experience and a new perspective on their personal and powerful works.
  • Lubaina Himid @ BALTIC
    11 May – 30 September
    Lubaina Himid, is currently Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire. Making Histories Visible, an ongoing interdisciplinary research project based at the university, led by Himid, continues to be a sustained exploration of the contribution of black visual art to the cultural landscape. As part of her exhibition, Himid will use traditional patterns and motifs of East African Kanga flags combined with mottos to produce a major outdoor commission. The work will be presented in tandem with a weekly programme of free public events every Sunday, including performances and community happenings. Through this Himid seeks to collaborate with and give visibility to marginalised creative communities.
  • Berenice Abbott & others
    4 November – 7 October
    The Gallery celebrates photography, A Public Art, 1840 - 1939, with an installation dedicated to its extraordinary Photographs Collection displaying classic images and rarely seen gems of artists, writers and actors by Edward Steichen, James Abbe, Berenice Abbott, Cecil Beaton and Dorothy Wilding among others.  The display celebrates sitters, makers and an array of different techniques as well as allowing visitors to revel in the creative language of photography and the constant reinvention of the genre of portraiture.
  • Frida Kahlo @ V & A
    16 June – 4 November
    This exhibition, Making Herself Up, presents an extraordinary collection of personal artefacts and clothing belonging to the iconic Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Locked away for 50 years after her death, this collection has never before been exhibited outside Mexico.
  • Annie Swynnerton @ Manchester Art Gallery
    23 February – 6 January
    The first retrospective for nearly a century of the Manchester born painter Annie Swynnerton, a pioneering professional artist who challenged convention in art and life.  Painting Light and Hope features 36 paintings from across Swynnerton’s career, including 13 from Manchester Art Gallery’s collection with further loans from public galleries including the Royal Academy Collection, Tate and the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool. The exhibition also features a number of rarely seen paintings on loan from private collections. Portraits showing the artist’s Manchester connections open the exhibition including Susan Dacre, with whom she co-founded the Manchester Society of Women Painters, and the Reverend William Gaskell, husband of novelist Elizabeth Gaskell. The exhibition also brings together landscapes, allegorical works and later portraits revealing her as a continually inventive artist who engaged with current art movements and forged her own independent style shaped by her experience of light and colour in Italy.
  • First Amongst Equals @ Foundling Museum
    16 January – 13 January
    In this exhibition, First Amongst Equals, remarkable women who have shaped contemporary British society choose objects that speak to them from the Museum’s Collection.
    Spanning 300 years of social history, culture and philanthropy, selections enable visitors to see the Collection from different perspectives, to make connections between the past and the present, and to reflect on women’s ongoing struggle for equality. Contributors, who have all achieved firsts within their respective fields, include: Maria Balshaw (first female Director of Tate); Moira Cameron (first female ‘Beefeater’, Yeoman Warder of the Tower of London); Baroness Hale of Richmond (first female President of the Supreme Court); Francesca Hayward (first black female Principal Dancer of the Royal Ballet); Carris Jones (first female chorister at St Paul’s Cathedral); Joanne Moore (first female tailor to have a men’s tailoring business on Saville Row); and Frances O’Grady (first female General Secretary of the TUC).  Starting in January, items will gradually go on display throughout the year.

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