7 mothers come together for new exhibition -STRETCH.
Stretch marks are the first signs showing how the body is able to evolve, to accommodate and adapt to the growth of a new human being. With ‘Stretch’ explores the physical and psychological transformations in the experience of motherhood and the ambivalent tensions within this. These significant shifts allow us to develop evolving skills and to negotiate our ever-changing ego in relation to those close to us. This show is a conversation between artists, who are all mothers, about what different stages of mothering feel like.
The exhibition touches upon universal themes of humanness – not only for mothers. Sleep deprivation; the trace of trauma; humour in the abject; bodily memory; borders and meeting points; mother earth and science fiction; body politics and the banality and absurdity of everyday life. Mothering affects us all.
The works included will present painting, sculpture and installation. Pieces across the lifetime of mothers with different ages of children and at different developments in their lives. Here together, we stretch beyond the current discourse about motherhood. Just as we want to be seen as more than just one part of ourselves, we want our work to speak across different cross-sections of making art.
We are not the same because we are mothers, what we have in common is an infinite richness of individual imagination. We are able, through the creation of this work, to appreciate the variety of motherhood and the changes over time. Encounters with motherhood in contemporary art are rare but there is growing recognition for this all-encompassing subject, which the artists here explore with humour and care.
Lucy Cade @lucycadeartist
Jennifer Nieuwland @jennieuwland
Lucienne O’Mara @lucienneomara
Catherine Lette @catherineletteart
Justine Hounam @justinehounam
Ingrid Berthon-Moine @ingridberthonmoine
Emily Stevens @emily.stevens.painting
Ruth Batham @ruthbatham
Jenny Williamson @_j_williamson
STRETCH, 15th – 25th March, Somers Gallery, 96 Chalton Street. NW1 1HJ, London, UK
@stre____tch follow for more information about the artists and future project
About the artists
Lucy Cade is a painter who makes work about the matrixial realm – the feminine and motherhood. Pictorially, her work has strong currents of painterly cinematic imagery, but physically, can manifest as installation or sculpture. She has shown extensively in the UK in the last few years. She belongs to Spilt Milk CIC. She was shortlisted for Jackson’s Painting Prize 2022 and the Alpine Fellowship 2021. She has won awards from a number of bodies, including the Arts Council, the Oppenheim-John Downes Memorial Trust and CuratorSpace. Following the Turps Correspondence Course, she is now undertaking her MFA at City & Guilds of London Art School. Lucy has 3 children aged 16, 13 and 8.
Jennifer Nieuwland born in 1977, lives and works in London. She is Dutch by nationality and spent her
formative years in Milan, Italy. She was mostly self-taught before embarking on an MA in Fine Art at City and Guilds of London Art School, completed in October 2021. This resulted in a marked shift in her practice, which now focuses on exploring bodily memory and the sensory. She has been shortlisted for a variety of prizes such as the Studio West Now Introducing 2022 prize, the ING Discerning Eye and the Jacksons open painting prize. Since completing her MA, she has been selected for various collective shows in London and Margate and for the cover of Ache Magazine being released in 2023. Jennifer has 2 children aged 15 and 13.
Lucienne O’Mara was born in London in 1989, where she still lives and works. She obtained a first-class degree from City & Guilds Art School during which she was awarded The Painter Stainer’s Award, followed by an MA, where she received The Tony Carter Award. She is currently taking part in the Turps Banana Studio Programme. Lucienne has one child aged 2.
Catherine Lette is a practicing painter from Cornwall now living and working in South London. With a BA in Fine Art from Central Saint Martins and in History from Oxford University, Lette has developed her painting practice over the past few years at Turps art school. Since 2021 she has participated in numerous group shows, curator’s selections, prizes and exhibitions. Notably she has been shortlisted for the prestigious Ingram Prize ’22 and Hari Art Prize ’22. Her work was featured in Business Traveller UK and included in Auc Art’s ‘Ones to watch’ curated by founder Natasha Arselan. In 2021 she was shortlisted for Jackson’s Painting Prize ’21 and published in Art Maze Mag’s issue 21, selected by the Cob Gallery. Her work is held in private collections in the UK and internationally. Catherine has two children aged 12 and 9.
Justine Hounam from London, UK is a mixed-media visual artist whose series of abstract body landscape
paintings represent a physical, psychological, and metaphorical skin. Justine is interested in the connection between us, our homes, and the objects within which contain memories of body and identity. Justine paints onto fabric, stretched and secured over found parts or whole furniture. Once removed, akin to a skin pulled from its body, the fabric reveals the outline of the object entombed within. Justine has 2 children aged 33 and 29.
Ingrid Berthon-Moine is a French visual artist based in London. Her work primarily uses sculpture, painting and installation. She uses the human body as a playground to toy with identity, sexuality and consumerism as a way to examine the de/construction of gender identity and its behavioural consequences in our society. She has exhibited in various group shows at venues including ‘Open Mic’ by Abbas Zahedi at Frieze Art Fair (2022), ‘Mãe’ at 55SP, Sao Paolo, Brazil (2022), ‘Drawing Biennial’ at Drawing Room (2021), Curated II Womxn, Unit 1 Gallery, London, 2021 ‘Blame The Algorithm’ Stadtmuseum München, Germany (2019), ‘Material Gestures’ Art Licks Weekend (2019), ‘Playground’ Världskultur Museerna, Sweden (2018), Espace Temoin, ‘Solitudes Molles Sous la Lumière Bleue’ Geneva, Switzerland (2018), ‘You Tear Us’ Kelder Projects, solo show, London (2018). She was shortlisted for the Mark Tanner Award 2021, The Ingram Prize 2021 and won a Barbican Art Trust residency in 2019. Ingrid has one child aged 17.
Emily Stevens is a British artist based in Brighton. She has an MA in Painting from the Royal College of Art (2022) and a BA in English Literature with Spanish from the University of Sussex. Her work has been exhibited across the UK, including A Generous Space at Hastings Contemporary, PZ Gallery Penzance, Irving Contemporary Oxford, Regency Town House Brighton, and Cambridge Contemporary. Stevens was shortlisted for the ING Discerning Eye 2022 and the Ruth Borchard Self-Portrait Prize 2021. She was Artist in Residence at Pells Pool Lewes 2019 and has been visiting tutor at Camberwell College of Arts and Newlyn School of Art. “My paintings revel in the act of painting itself, the solace and sensuality of paint, and the way that painting enacts itself as a revelatory language. I like the fact that painting allows you to feel all sorts of forbidden things. Sometimes (a lot of the time), I paint my kids. The work is a reflection of the personal and the political, with aim to reconcile painting with early motherhood – two dedications that can overwhelm in their demand for concentration and time. Each can sustain the other, if they are allowed to work in symbiosis rather than competition or conflict.” Emily has 2 children aged 8 and 5.
Ruth Batham, born in the Black Country (1987), moved to London to study at Wimbledon School of Art. In
2019, she was an offsite painter at Turps Art School. Ruth’s work combines a drawing and painting process with a background in Human Science (UCL). The inspiration and concepts behind her work are, in essence – people. As a socially minded artist, her concerns centre around human connectedness, relationships and interactions. She primarily works with acrylics. Ruth is currently based in Stroud and London. She has exhibited across London including the Zabludowicz Collection and Thames-Side Gallery. In 2019, she had a solo show in Tottenham entitled ‘Approach’ which focussed on fragmenting the human figure. Her work is in private collections across England. She belongs to Spilt Milk CIC. Last year she was selected for I Felt That – a group project focused on the gender pain gap which culminated in a group show in London and a publication with Ache magazine. Ruth has one child aged 2.
Jenny Williamson is an early career visual artist, based in London and originally from Scotland. Primarily using clay in their work; a material that is integral to their practice. Clay binds us to the earth, to our bodies and to both past and future civilisations. Often using the classical vessel or vase form as an alter ego, or representative of the body. Their work is fuelled by instinct, the restless nature of mother earth, science fiction and creating forms as an extension of their own bodily experience. With the installation element of their practice, they choose to make work using materials that can be dismantled and repurposed. Components are brought together to form a soup of textures; of assembled chaos. This transient assembly of materials helps to further support ideas surrounding life and ‘life force’. Jenny has 2 children aged 14 and 10.