The University of South Wales is pleased to announce its summer exhibition, vis-à-vis, a celebration of the centenary of women’s suffrage. It represents a selection of twenty images of women from its Museum Collection paired with twenty images of women by contemporary artists from Wales. vis-à-vis is understood here as being the consideration of one thing in relation to another, but by lucky chance ‘vis’ also brings to mind its older meaning of face to face and the act of visaging.
Works of art from the 1960s onwards rarely appear as equal partners in exhibitions of contemporary art. Maybe those curatorial conversations are just too close for comfort. In this exhibition, however, art of the recent past and present are invited into a curated conversation. Indeed, two of the artists, even exhibit a past work held in the University’s Museum Collection alongside a current one.
With the exhibition installed, a conversation project has been underway, its aim to enquire on the relation between past and present representations of women in art. Each artist was invited to undertake an email conversation with the exhibition’s curator, Dr Frances Woodley, in which their exhibit was discussed in relation to its pair from the Museum Collection. These conversations have brought a remarkable range of new perspectives to older works of art: feminist, political, historical, cultural, representational and more. At the same time the project has offered contemporary artists an opportunity to reflect on their own practice in relation to a work of art by an artist from the recent past and often unfamiliar to them. It has made for a fascinating set of encounters that are to be included in a substantial catalogue due to be launched 28th September. In the meantime please come and visit the exhibition, it’s an eye-opener, and it’s free.
Contemporary Welsh Artists
Susan Adams, Jacqueline Alkema, Jan Bennett, Heather Eastes, Penny Hallas, Nerea Martinez de Lecea, Kate Milsom, Seren Morgan Jones, Annie Morgan Suganami, Tiffany Oben, Marega Palser, Cherry Pickles, Shani Rhys James, Philippa Robbins, Alan Salisbury, Moira Vincentelli, Fran Whiteside, Emrys Williams, Sue Williams, Dawn Woolley
Artists from USW’s Museum Collection
Ronald Lawrence, Lilian Rathmell, Ivor Davies, Richard Monahan, Tina Carr and Annemarie Schöne, Victoria Malcolm, Elizabeth Bridge, Roger Cecil, Tiffany Oben, Ewart Johns, Michael Gustavius Payne, Shani Rhys James x2, Judith Beecher, Joan Baker, Paul Brewer, Ken Elias, Iwan Bala, Mervyn Baldwin x2