A Spirit Inside

23 September 2023 to 14 January 2024 The Lightbox

Image: dora-carrington-iris-tree-on-a-horse
This autumn, a new exhibition at The Lightbox will display 29 works by women and non-binary artists across a diversity of mediums, including sculpture, paintings, film and collage.

Drawing from two of the UK’s leading art collections - The Women’s Art Collection and The Ingram Collection - A Spirit Inside (23 September 2023 – 14 January 2024) will bring together a selection of works spanning over 100 years that will explore how women artists have grappled with the notion and sense of ‘spirit’, from internal contemplation to external expression.   

The exhibition is the first time the permanent collection - which is based at Murray Edwards College, University of Cambridge and at 600 works is the largest collection of works by women artists in Europe - has worked with a museum to display its art, providing a wider opportunity for the British public to see some of the most important 20th and 21st century works by women artists.

Alongside works from The Ingram Collection, visitors will have an opportunity to see a range of artists, from historic greats to important contemporaries, such as Dora Carrington, Paula Rego, Lubaina Himid, Bridget Riley and Leonora Carrington, amongst many others.

The genesis of the exhibition stems from a 1920 letter that Dora Carrington wrote to a friend, neatly explaining her reluctance to marry: “To marry him would not make it any better, because one cannot change a spirit inside one". Carrington’s spirit fascinated many who met her and whilst Carrington’s reputation is now assured, this wasn’t always the case, perhaps in part because of her reluctance to exhibit. Instead, she preferred to gift her paintings as tokens of friendship. One such work will be at the forefront of this new exhibition. Iris Tree on a Horse (c.1920s) shows the artist’s friend as a knight, riding a white horse under a midnight sky. In oil, ink, silver foil and mixed media on glass

Some other highlights include Liliane Lijn’s Black Koan (1990) which explores the importance of light as a symbol of consciousness. Madness of Love (1987) by Miriam Shapiro reclaims textiles which she referred to as her ‘femmages’.

The exhibition will run from 23 September 2023 – 14 January 2024.

Further Information:  The Lightbox