10th March – 26th April
(S)HE is a contemporary curatorial investigation into the position of the female and gender inequality in historical and contemporary art. The exhibition, shown in The Liang Gallery, is curated by 22 Newcastle University students. The collection is a sophisticated investigation, spanning all genres of art. The collection holds pieces by artists such as Ella Bergmann-Michel, Alan Davie, Louis Lèopold Boilly and Paula Rego. The collection ranges from as far back as the 16th century, right through to today.
The gallery space comprised of one white wall room and a small alcove off to the side. The paintings were hung around the room in different frames. This showed the different era and conventions in which they were produced, instead of modernising them. The work on the wall was accompanied by a small label which served it’s purpose but was not fitting with the sophisticated nature of the exhibition. This lack of attention to detail led the work to be less engaging, as I couldn’t stop focusing on the labels. This is an element that I will consider when producing work both for the degree show ‘Open To Interpretation’ and ‘Modern Love’ at Free Range.
The collection of work explored the female figure in art from the male perspective and the female perspective; with the date of the work being prominent in highlighting the views of the time. As gender studies is not my area I lacked understanding and was unable to properly understand the meaning of the images on show. Due to my photography background, I also didn’t fully appreciate the innovation of the work in relation to when it was made.
The gallery also held artist statements from women in art, and names of those women who people found inspiring. This was interesting but I felt as though they could have been spoken aloud to give both a females perspective and something that is more accessible.
Overall, the work could be better explained and better presented, to make the content more accessible to the wider public – not just those specialising in gender and identity studies and academia.
A virtual tour of the gallery is available at https://22curators.wixsite.com/sheproject/virtualtour