STUDIO WEST presents The Angel in the House, a group exhibition featuring seven emerging UK-based female painters: Jess Allen, Pippa El-Kadhi Brown, Olha Pryymak, Florence Reekie, Elena Rivera-Montanes, Grace Tobin and Xu Yang.
Drawing its title from a Victorian phrase used to signify a saintly, silenced and submissive wife, ‘The Angel in the House’ gently unravels ribbons of thought invoked by John Everett Millais’ intricate painting The Bridesmaid (1851) surrounding women’s desire for agency and the symbolic potency of everyday objects as vehicles to tell one’s story in the context of oppression. In exploring contemporary scenes of domestic life, the featured artists question and complicate reductive understandings of femininity and bring to light the many facets of their lived experiences and inner worlds.
Neither rejecting nor wholly embracing traditions associated with the feminine, the works on show re-approach the relationship between women and domestic space while revisiting age-old signifiers of femininity in a new light. Seemingly unconnected objects – flowing silks, clambering weeds, bejewelled brooches and polished jugs – become symbols of the artists’ deep-felt connections with their homes and of the formation of their identities. Meanwhile, painterly renderings of intimate space become the stage upon which the exhibition plays out a reimagining of ‘the angel in the house’ for the 21st century.
THE ANGEL IN THE HOUSE, 22nd June – 20th July 2023, Studio West
Late night opening 23rd June – 8pm