Sunday 1 June 2014

For the record

For the Record, at Waterhall Gallery, Birmingham Museum. 

This exhibition showcases modern and contemporary artwork by a number of women artists exploring the themes of tradition, documentation and recording.

Mary Kelly, Post-Partum Document (1974-79)
In this work, informed by feminism and psychoanalysis, Kelly obsessively recorded every stage of her young son's development (and her reactions) for six years, considering the 'feminine psychology' of motherhood and how mother-child relationships shape our perspectives on social and gender roles.


This work is the sixth and final part of the much larger installation and shows the earliest writings of Kelly's son when he learnt to spell and write his own name. 

Louise Bourgeois, The Bad Mother, 1998 (lithograph)

A preparatory sketch for three sculptures that explore the different stages of mother-child relationship. 'I do' represents the nurturing mother, 'I undo' sees the rupturing of the mother-child bond and 'I redo' is the fixing of this divide. According to the psychologist Melanie Klein the child feels love for the female body when it provides food and aggression towards the 'bad breast' when food is denied. In this sketch milk drips away from the child, representing the splitting of the maternal bond.

Helen Chadwick, Ego Geometria Sum VIII: The Horse Age 11, 1982-83
This is part of a series of 10 plywood sculptures which reflect the mass of the artist's body at ten key stages of her life. Horse Age 11 takes the form of a gym-horse, and like each of her other sculptures, is illustrated with the imprint of Chadwick herself whose physical position conforms to the shape of the object. Photographic images with a special significance from the artist's past also appear on the sculpture.

Lucia Nogueira, Binocular 1996 (mixed media) 
Two beach huts painted black, a site-specific installation for the ramparts at Berwick-on-Tweed, commissioned in 1996. Visitors were encouraged to use the black umbrellas and kites (situated inside the huts) on a windswept beach.


Kerry Stewart, This Girl Bends, 1996 (fibreglass and paint)


one more view


Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Condor and the Mole, 2011

Ana Maria Pacheco, In Illo Tempore (In Those Days), 1994 (oil on gesso board)
This is the first in a series of 10 paintings about the nature of power and its ability to corrupt. The young girl's light yellow dress contrasts with the shadowy background and the terrifying masked creatures appear to threaten her innocence. This image recalls the carnival processions Pacheco experienced during her childhood in Brazil. European fables by Hans Christian Andersen and the brothers Grimm have also influenced Pacheco's work.


Barbara Hepworth, The Cosdon Head, 1949, (marble)

The sculpture resembles a face but retains the appearance of a natural boulder. One side is smooth and flat with an eye indicated by a simple hollowed space, in contrast to the rounded side which shows an eye and hand etched on the marble surface.

a different view


Estella Canziani, (1887-1964),  Portrait of a Woman with a Garland (oil on canvas)
Estella Canziani, Costume for Mourning, Saint Colomban, Savoy
Many of Canziani's paintings imitate the conventions of fashion illustration, evidenced in the profile or three-quarter length formats and the focus on costume. The women in her paintings are posed, intended to demonstrate the complexities of dress rather than the personality of the sitter. They recall Medieval and early Renaissance styles of portraiture.


Estella Canziani, Sunday, St Jean d'Arves

Estella Canziani, The Wedding Cap, Savoy

Estella Canziani, Girl in Mourning Costume of La Valloire



Laura Knight, Autumn Sunlight, Sennen Cove, Cornwall, 1922 (oil on canvas)

Barbara Walker, Bliss, 2012
An exploration of Ladybird children's books.

June Wayne, The Dorothy Series (Power Net), 1975-79 
This series presents a visual biography of the mother of the artist, Dorothy Kline. Wayne uses traces of objects to represent her mother at different stages of her life: a string of pearls, a glove, a marriage licence. 
June Wayne, The Dorothy Series (Goodbye), 1975-79
Jennifer Dickson, L'Origine, plate 1 of La Genese, a portfolio of 10 colour etchings (all 10 etchings are exhibited).
The 10 colour etchings were executed during the period of Dickson's pregnancy in 1964-65. 

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