Outgrowing: Flowers and female artists, 1700 – now will be opening in the Temporary Exhibition Gallery at Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum on Friday 28th January and runs until Sunday 24th April. Curated by Jane Simpkiss and Lily Crowther, this exhibition explores the reasons why female artists have so often been associated with flowers, and the tensions and freedoms that arise when considering these artworks and their subject matter.
Works on display include pieces from the gallery’s publicly owned collection as well as important loans from major collections such as the Royal Academy, the Courtauld Gallery and the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew. It also features works by local artists and designers from Elizabeth Whitehead to Jennie Moncur.
Stunning 18th– century still-life paintings and pioneering botanical drawings will be on display alongside intricate Victorian crafts and modern artistic experiments with colour and light. The artists included range from Mary Moser to Winifred Nicholson.
If you enjoy studying beautiful depictions of flowers, this is the exhibition for you. But it’s also the exhibition for you if you want to dig deeper into the context these pieces were created in. Throughout history female artists have been encouraged to focus on flowers, and often excluded from other subjects. Despite these limitations, many women made significant, often radical contributions to art and science through their study of botany. Others built successful careers at a time when women still struggled for acceptance in the workplace whilst flowers continue to be source of inspiration for contemporary female artists. Why are flowers still often seen as a feminine subject matter?
To explore this question and more, make the time to visit Leamington Spa Art Gallery & Museum this spring. To go deeper, the gallery has organised a range of adult workshops that tie into the themes of this exhibition. From artist led cyanotype workshops to flower arranging and printing, the gallery have focussed on sourcing tutorship and materials from the local area, supporting and promoting the talent in the district.
For more information on all events and exhibitions please visit www.warwickdc.gov.uk/royalpumprooms