Donachie, Rhodes, Ryan

This exhibition marked the first three years of the Freelands Award, while drawing attention to the fourth iteration of our research report into opportunities for female artists in the UK. It included works by the first three recipients of the award – Jacqueline Donachie (2016, The Fruitmarket Gallery, Edinburgh), Lis Rhodes (2017, Nottingham Contemporary) and Veronica Ryan (2018, Spike Island, Bristol). The exhibition featured Donachie’s An Era of Small Pleasures, a major sculptural installation; Rhodes’s Notes from Light Music, a seminal film from 1975–77 made in response to the absence of female composers from the classical canon, and Veronica Ryan’s Salvage.

The gallery’s Reading Room focused on the research and the evolution of the award, highlighting all the organisations that have been shortlisted to date, including those shortlisted for the Freelands Award Year 4.

As well as celebrating this award, the exhibition coincided with the publication of our research report into representation of female artists in Britain. The exhibition provided a forum where audiences could find out about the research we conducted to investigate the current position of the female artist. As a key focus of the Foundation’s work over the past four years, it was an appropriate time to explore the shift in climate in relation to the visibility and representation of female artists in the UK.

A discussion focusing on the issues evidenced in the report took place on the 9th July, where artist Jacqueline Donachie was in conversation with writer and curator Jenni Lomax.

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