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International Women’s Day: They Chose, They Challenged, There Challenging

Featuring Kate Garner, Tracey Emin, Bridget Riley, Rosso Emerald Crimson, Rebecca Fontaine-Wolf, Lucie Flynn, Eve de Haan,

Karen Thomas

A challenged world is an alert world. Individually, we’re all responsible for our own thoughts and actions – all day, every day.

We can all choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can all choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. Collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world.

From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge.

Rebecca Fontaine Wolf

Rebecca is a London-based artist who grew up in Germany and the UK. Her work predominantly focuses on painting and portraiture, exploring themes surrounding female identity and mortality.

Rebecca was featured as one of the winners of the BBC art program ‘show me the Monet’ in 2011 and recently went on to become a Vice President of the Society of Women Artists where she is on the judging panel for their annual open exhibition at the Mall Galleries as well as co-curating the exhibition.


Caput Mortuum  

Meaning : Worthless Remains /Dead Head

A pigment found in the Barreiro Industrial Park Soil where the images were taken.

This self-portrait taken in June 2020 was influenced by the previous months of solitude during the covid19 lockdown. It refers to the sense of fragmentation and self-othering experienced when relating to others solely through screens, as well as an awareness of the vulnerability of the human body. 

Malus: meaning both “bad, evil” and “apple tree” in Latin. 

Malus explores the mediated relationship between the body and self-image as experienced in contemporary digitised culture. I wanted to play with the idea of the “mirror-selfie” and self-objectification whilst using traditional vanitas symbolism.  I’m interested in the conflicted nature of our societal relationship to female sexuality, whereby it is both taboo yet also continuously displayed and exploited. 

Original Sin:

Original Sin explores the idea of the ‘dangerous’ quality prescribed to the female body and sexuality in a patriarchal culture. The sharp broken mirrors along with the almost Caravaggio-like use of chiaroscuro allude to a sense of high drama and violence inherent in the subject matter.

Karen Thomas

Karen Thomas (b.1963/UK) is acclaimed for her pop-culture figures and loosely dynamic painting style. 
While her infamous superhero collections reconstruct well-known characters’ identities with wild expressionism, her postcard collectibles transpose celebrities into small, but utterly enigmatic portraits. In doing so, Karen Thomas has created a distinguished style, recognisable for its thick and vivacious brushstrokes. 
She has shown both individually and in group exhibitions at the RA Summer Exhibition, The Other Art Fair and Art Below London, SELECT Art Fair, New York, Affordable Art Fair, Hamburg and the Berliner Liste, Berlin 

Kate Garner

Garner first came widely into the public eye as one third of the 1980s avant-gardenew wave pop project Haysi Fantayzee.  From there she quickly launched a successful media arts career in photography, painting and video, working with artists such as Bowie, Bjork and Sinead O’Connor on imagery throughout the 90’s.  In the early 2000’s the art world started to recognise Garner’s talents with galleries such as The Lawrence Alkin Gallery, Riflemaker Gallery, The Painters Gallery, Galerie 13, Artcube, ZebraOne, Bank Robber and the Future Gallery showcasing her work.  She has since had many successful solo shows throughout Europe and The Americas

Garner spotted Kate Moss amongst the hundreds of model cards at the Storm model agency to use in a shoot, Moss, who was only 14 years old at the time, was given permission to leave school early and was chaperoned from Croydon to studios in Old Street, East London.

The felt crown used on the shoot had been given directly by leading British milliner Stephen Jones to the stylist Claire Hall who used it as an accessory for the photo shoot,  i-D magazine commissioned the photographs after the shoot for use in their May 1989 issue based on the reputation of the Garner. She went on to photograph Kate Moss at the Praed St Hotel for the now iconic “Hear no Speak no See no Evil” photoshoot remembering the day Garner says

“Kate still hadn’t broken through the battle line of the supermodels of that time. I wanted to show the glamour that we could see underneath the waif portrayal.” Originally commissioned for Esquire, the magazine dumped the images and dismissed Moss’s prospects as a future model. About six months later, Moss’s career began to build, and the magazine reapproached Garner about doing another shoot with her in London. (Garner says that her images were eventually published alongside “a scathing piece about how these waif girls had the audacity to challenge the beauty icons who were already established.”)

She designed a wallpaper collection, which is archived at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London 

Lucie Flynn

Lucie Flynn is a contemporary artist who has moved into creating large scale paintings on the streets across the globe, her work is instantly recognizable and stands out loud and proud – nothing comes close to her dynamic style and the path in which she practices her form.  Using combinations of spray paint, acrylic, inks and collage Flynn builds bright, clashing palettes with bold sweeps and splatters, layers of paint pulse and crackle.

Studying at Reigate Art School with a subversive mix of reprobates including the Art Director Kieron Accelerator she went on to make her name producing and exhibiting artwork out of the top floor of the highly influential Dragon in Shoreditch at a time when the area was alive with like-minded creatives such as The Chapman Brothers, Scott King and Banksy.  Around this time she was approached to work in Damien Hirst’s Studio as part of the production and management team, a field in which she is now fully accomplished. 

Whilst never fully engaging in a “career” in the art world Lucie continued to push and envelope a style that is undeniably unique and would be hard to compare.

Rosso Emerald Crimson

Rosso is an award-winning portrait artist who brings intimacy and character to her colourful paintings. Italian born, Rosso lives and works in London since 2004. She graduated in Political Science in Italy then obtained an MA in International Communications and Human Rights at City University in London (UK). She worked in marketing and advertising before changing her career direction to the visual arts.
Rosso is primarily a self-taught artist. Her artistic accolades include winning the “Jackson Open Painting Prize 2019 (JOPP2019)” for the Portrait/Figure category; the “The Harbour Gallery Award” and “The Artist’s Exhibition Award” (TALP Open 2019); “The Holly Bush Emerging Woman Painter Prize 2017” and the “Emerald Winter Pride Art Award” in 2016.
She was twice selected to participate in “Sky Portrait Artist of The Year”, in SEASON7 aired in 2020 and in 2019. She has exhibited across London in venues including the Mall Galleries, Bloomsbury and The Strand Gallery. Her work has been featured in various UK national magazines (Artists and Illustrator; The Artist’s Magazine), and her painting, ‘Young Climate Rebel’ was the front cover image for the September 2019 issue of Arena Magazine (Australia).

I use portraiture and self-portraiture to explore and analyse myself and the world around me. Taking inspiration from personal memories along with observations from real life and imagination, the imagery I create often unveils the vulnerability and strength of the human condition.

Themes addressed revolve around identity, femininity, gender, sexuality, motherhood as well as ethical and political issues. They are carried out by predominantly female characters who enact a ‘persona’ or stereotype that resonates with the viewers at various levels of the subconscious mind.

I have learned in the academic painting tradition and in years of practice I developed a contemporary version of realism which combines elements of abstract expressionism, mixed media, and occasionally collage to create a visually engaging imagery. Whereas I find in classicism a powerful vehicle to express the plethora of human emotions, my painting method is constantly evolving and driven more by what is still unknown to me than by the tested and established.

Eve de Haan

Eve De Haan is an Emerging London-based artist. Her degree in Theology has influenced her work. She has developed a strong body of installations that examine concepts of change and the imprint technology makes on youth culture. Her creations are provocative and challenging.

Eve has exhibited her works in Europe and America. After graduating she decided to communicate through art, especially that of installation, developing a strong body of work that examines the concepts of change and the imprint of technology on youth culture. In 2017 her works were exhibited at Museum of Neon Art in Los Angeles and on a variety of platforms including GQ, The Times Style, and Refinery29.

Her creations are provocative and daring and they deepen the concepts of gender roles and the nuances of meaning within a sentence. The power of words, combined with that of the images become a very powerful weapon 

Eve finds neon as a medium to be perfect to accentuate how there are gradients and shades of meaning within a statement.

She has exhibited globally and worked with prolific brands.

The Exhibition runs until the end of March 31st

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