The Female Gaze looks at women in art

Published: Thursday 23rd February 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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Women of the World Festival takes place in early March to coincide with International Women’s Day.

With the principal venue being the South Bank Centre in London, extensions of the festival are popping up all over the UK. Luckily for us, Hull is very much getting on board for its City of Culture year.

As part of a wide-ranging series of local WOW events, an exhibition will be held at Kingston Art Group Gallery down Humber Street.

The Female Gaze is one of sixty projects funded by Hull 2017’s Creative Communities Programme, delivered in partnership with the Big Lottery Fund.

Featuring the work of ten female artists, the collection taps into some of the most important themes in art in a range of ways.

A few of the creators have used people or their own bodies to recall memories or experiences, whilst others have looked at landscapes for their inspiration.

Chloë Roach, one of the artists, tells us a bit more about the exhibition and its underlying mission:

“Women still face huge adversity, and the gallery environment is no exception. The average representation of female artists is currently at 22% at galleries in Europe .”

“The Female Gaze aims to inspire the next generation of female creative professionals in the city, as well as those who struggle to be heard as part of a minority group within any profession.”

The artists are Anna Bean, Susan Beaulah, Lesley Bradshaw, Cath Cassidy, Lou Hazelwood, Glynis Neslan, Chloë Roach, Julia Roach, Pauline Scott and Sally Tebb. Together they present an eclectic showcase of styles, techniques and stages of career, all unified by a common goal.

“Working with these artists has been hugely infectious,” says guest curator Caroline Krzesinska. “This inventive exhibition shows that they are at the height of their creativity.”

Caroline is no newbie to this kind of event. In fact, she was Managing Curator for Art in Yorkshire Supported by Tate, and Creative Director at Museums Sheffield.

With KAG Gallery being a dynamic hub of expression, this exhibition ties in with various other pieces of WOW activity.

“One event sees me in conversation with London street artist Shuby,” says Chloë. “This will cover her journey along the rocky road of the art world, plus her work’s relationship with the Soho sex industry.” [Shuby is pictured above.]

Other events include Audrey Dunne reading some of her poetry, which  is shaped by scenes as diverse as the Humber Estuary and the plains of Holderness.

Audrey is joined by flautist musician Claire Holdich, adding a further dimension through beautifully haunting sounds.

You can also catch a spoken word performance with an all female cast, a talk by novelist Daphne Glazer, and a women’s art market. Then there’s Rebecca Robyns, founder of charity EYESeeMee, sharing stories of children in southeast Asia.

“There’s a real mix of amazing art and spoken word,” says Chloë. “Whilst celebrating women across the globe, we want people of all genders to come down. It’s going to be enjoyable, eye-opening and full of imagination.”

The Female Gaze runs from 3-25 March at Kingston Art Group Gallery. To find out more about individual events, please visit the Hull 2017 website.

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Published: Thursday 23rd February 2017 by Courtney Farrow

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