Laura Knight & Caroline Walker: A Female Gaze
Saturday 19 March – Sunday 5 June
This unique, home-grown exhibition features work by two important female British artists, brought together for the first time in an ambitious presentation. Although born decades apart, both artists examine through paint the remarkable lived experiences of women, while individually celebrating subjects as varied as ballet performers, motherhood, and modern-day NHS heroes.
The exhibition celebrates the remarkable achievements of Nottingham artist Dame Laura Knight R.A (1877 -1970) by highlighting over 80 much-loved and critically lauded paintings and drawings. The selection features works made in Nottingham, her well-known behind-the-scenes portrayals of circus and ballet performers, officially commissioned portraits, her work as an appointed war artist, and intimate portrayals of friends and communities with whom she built close relationships.
In contrast, the work of critically acclaimed British contemporary artist, Caroline Walker (b. 1982), is presented in her first museum solo show within the UK. Her rich, atmospheric and often ambiguous oil paintings reveal the diverse social, cultural and economic experiences of women living in contemporary society. Blurring the boundary between objectivity and lived experience, Walker highlights often overlooked roles performed by women and the psychologically charged spaces they inhabit. The exhibition also features recent works based on time spent within the maternity ward where her daughter was born.
By pairing Laura Knight’s work with Caroline Walker’s, the exhibition not only looks at the developments by women artists over the past 100 years, but also considers the themes shared by both artists and examines why the female figure and the role women serve in society – the key protagonists in these works – is still such a strong and rich subject matter. These artists focus on the female experience, both in domestic settings and in the workplace, painting women from varying social classes and utilising an inquisitorial lens through which to paint their subjects.
Caroline Walker is represented by