Annabelle Chace, Noemi Conan, Jasmin Jahmeelah, Uchercie, Lorena Prain
Curated by Andia Coral Newton
15 – 19 August 2023
Private View: 16 August, 6-9pm
“Adam, and by extension all men, were made from clay. They were therefore hard and strong. Eve, because she was made from Adam’s body, was weaker and softer, but that meant her mind was sharper. She was defined less by what her body could do than what her mind was free to achieve without the burden of heavy flesh.”
– Hildegard of Bingen (b.1098)*
As a prolific thinker and writer, Hildegard was trying to make sense of what she knew – that the women of her time had much to contribute to society, but were being silenced – within an oppressive context in which she was very much an outlier. Underpinning this group exhibition is the idea that ‘girlhood’ is unique, and experienced differently by every individual. Making sense of girlhood can be messy, intimate, nonsensical and non-binary. Many would also disagree with Hildegard; in fact the freedom to imagine is very often held back by the form of a person’s flesh.
Paint, often likened to flesh, can be used to bring whimsy and strangeness into an artists’ imagery, but there are also times when ‘girlhood’ is marked by discomfort, darkness, frustration and boredom. This exhibition is a space dedicated to celebrating women and non-binary artists in contemporary painting. By presenting the works of Annabelle Chace, Noemi Conan, Jasmin Jahmeelah, Uchercie, and Lorena Prain, the curator aims to platform lesser acknowledged depictions of ’girlhood’, from the dazzling to the disconcerting.
*Source: The Once and Future Sex: Going Medieval on Women’s Roles in Society, Eleanor Janega
Annabelle Chace is a US and French national, raised in the UK. She attended Rhode Island School of Design, graduating from the painting department with a BFA in 2019. She applies drawing techniques to printmaking and painting disciplines, and works as a curator on a freelance basis. Her work concerns itself with the human body, the natural world, and communication systems.
Noemi Conan is an artist whose work delves into the captivating world of visual storytelling, utilising surreal, confrontational, and humorous imagery to explore the narratives within. Her art centers around depictions of female friends, family, and feline companions, set against the enchanting backdrop of forest landscapes adorned with firs and ferns.
Drawing inspiration from the rich tapestry of Slavic folklore and combining it with themes extracted from both communist and capitalist propaganda, Conan weaves compelling stories that are deeply rooted in her personal experiences as a young woman growing up in off-center 90’s Eastern Europe.
Typically working digitally, Jahmeelah explores the translation of black identity, afro surrealism, womanhood and spirituality stemming from her Black, Caribbean heritage into paintings. Her poetry often informs the way in which she visually explores narration to make the viewer simultaneously find a semblance of peace but question their own experience.
Uchercie graduated with a MFA degree in Fine Art from the Goldsmiths, University of London. Uchercie has published a solo photography book Unconsciously, and their artworks have been exhibited in Arles photo festival, Art Basel, Somerset house, Saatchi gallery and other galleries.
“Lorena Prain, aka. Lorena Infantes Prada, is a Spanish artist who works primarily with painting, sculpture and installation. Prain’s paintings take us into an eerie world where mythical creatures, female nudes and unexpected still-lifes are appropriated into a contemporary context. Playing with irony and trash culture, her works engage with fetishised icons of modern society through a humorous, quasi-surrealist lens.”
— MAMA, @art_mama
HEAVY FLESH: Music and Performance Night
Friday 18 August 2023, 7-9pm
Join us for an evening of music and performances in conjunction with current exhibition ‘The Burden of Heavy Flesh’.
Featuring Docklands Light Railway, Vodka Terry and Kitty Cameron this evening of performance and music compliments the themes of the exhibition.