Women Surrealists of the 20th century; Glamourous, powerful, revolutionary, outrageous, radical, adored, provocative and ignored. For the first time in Europe, Manchester Art Gallery became host to over 150 works of female surrealism. I went to see this exhibition as part of my lecture series ;The Hidden Thread,' but also for my own personal interest. I found the collages of Penny Slinger powerful and intriguing and a great example of how juxtaposition of imagery can be so clear and hard hitting. The whole exhibition was a celebration of women, and I felt empowered by these women who had gone before me, striving for success in a male dominated world.
I enjoyed the seeing the work of Francesca Woodman in a gallery space, as next to the photographs there was a film of the work being completed. It made me relate to the work even more, as it showed her testing and trying out techniques and hearing her comment on her own work, was strange. Woodman has become somewhat of an icon, but seeing her in the film at work, it make me think she was just like anyone else, proud and excited by her own work, just as I am when a particular experiment works out. She seemed happy and playful, and so far removed from the idea of suicide and depression. It was empowering to see her enthusiasm and joy she got from her work.
When I considered the time of the exhibition, it strikes me as more remarkable how these artists still pionered to unashamedly express their femininity, paving the way for female artists of today. I find that often I think about Graphic Design in Britain as male dominanted, and although the majority of students on our course are female, it seems that we have a very male bias when it comes to guest lecturers. Last year there was not one female guest lecturer, this year there have been more i.e Morag Myerscough, Helen Murgatroyd, and I hope this will continue to reassure and inspire that there is a place for women in graphic design.visual stimulating...here are a few whom especially caught my eye within the exhibition; Penny Slinger. caught my eye NM. Penny Slinger. 'I hear what you say' This collage piece amused me, i could relate to the visual communication,through a juxstaposition of imagery. Something, which is integral to graphic design. the visual pun of 'i hear what you say' - literally an ear (hear) inside a mouth (say). Lee Miller Miller uses the landscape, to reflect human bodily parts, and take on human characteristics. Lee Miller Portrait of Space, (detail) 1937 This can also be seen in the work of Jane Graverol.. Jane Graverol L’Esprit saint [The Holy Spirit] (detail), 1965