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Female artists put in the spotlight in new show at Norwich Castle

PUBLISHED: 17:41 12 April 2018 | UPDATED: 18:27 12 April 2018

Harriet Loffler, curator of modern and contemporary art at Norwich Castle, with the sculpture Forms in Movement by Barbara Hepworth, in the Visible Women exhibition. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Harriet Loffler, curator of modern and contemporary art at Norwich Castle, with the sculpture Forms in Movement by Barbara Hepworth, in the Visible Women exhibition. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2018

The work of female artists in modern and contemporary art is being championed in the latest exhibition at Norwich Castle.

Technician Sandra Martins hangs one of the pictures in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYTechnician Sandra Martins hangs one of the pictures in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Visible Women opens in the Timothy Gurney Gallery on Saturday and features highlights from the castle’s collections dating from the early 20th century until the present day.

It takes its name from the book 50% The Visible Woman which was created by radical feminist artist Penny Slinger who also has a work of art in the show.

Harriet Loffler, Norwich Castle’s curator of modern and contemporary art, said the exhibition’s aim was to both celebrate the diverse work of female artists but also open up conversations about the under-representation of women in public collections across the country.

“The exhibition came about after I did some research in terms of the gender representation of women across the collection here, and out of over 3,000 artists we discovered only about 260 are women which equated to 7pc,” she said.

The book, 50% The Visible Woman, the inspriation for the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYThe book, 50% The Visible Woman, the inspriation for the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Artists featured in the show include Gwen John, Maggi Hambling, Barbara Hepworth, Mary Newcomb and Bridget Riley - and there will also be a work on display by a female artist who is new to the castle’s collection.

A painting by Mexican artist Aliza Nisenbaum – called Susan, Aarti, Keerthana and Princess, Sunday in Brooklyn – is arriving on Monday thanks to the Valeria Napoleone XX Contemporary Art Society scheme which each year supports a regional museum to acquire a work by a leading, living female artist.

Ms Loffler said: “This is a landmark acquisition for Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery. It comes at an important moment when we are actively addressing the underrepresentation of art made by women in the collection. It also stands as the first work to enter the collection that represents women of colour. Susan, Aarti, Keerthana and Princess, Sunday in Brooklyn has significant links to existing works in our collection that explore the multiplicity of roles occupied by women and in particular how they see themselves and are seen by others. We are very grateful to both Valeria Napoleone and the Contemporary Art Society in enabling Norwich Castle to acquire such an important work.”

Visible Women runs from April 14 until November 11. Visit www.museums.norfolk.gov.uk

Part of the sculpture Air Heads by Christine Borland in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPart of the sculpture Air Heads by Christine Borland in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

The exhibition coincides with the Women of the World (WOW) Festival in Norwich from April 28 to 29 - www.norwichartscentre.co.uk

Study of Head for 'Man and His Sheep' by Ana Maria Pacheco, one of the exhibits in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYStudy of Head for 'Man and His Sheep' by Ana Maria Pacheco, one of the exhibits in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Part of the sculpture Air Heads by Christine Borland in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPart of the sculpture Air Heads by Christine Borland in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Part of the Head Box exhibits, Nightwood, by Penny Slinger, one of the exhibits in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYPart of the Head Box exhibits, Nightwood, by Penny Slinger, one of the exhibits in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Shoes by Abigail Lane are put in place in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYShoes by Abigail Lane are put in place in the Visible Women exhibition at Norwich Castle. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Harriet Loffler, curator of modern and contemporary art at Norwich Castle, with the sculpture Air Heads by Christine Borland, in the Visible Women exhibition. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYHarriet Loffler, curator of modern and contemporary art at Norwich Castle, with the sculpture Air Heads by Christine Borland, in the Visible Women exhibition. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

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