The Spaces/Places Arts Research Group has evolved from a ‘Women Artists in History’ group. The focus is on women’s art and research, including areas like film, video, photography, painting as well as curation and exhibition practices. The group arose from interest in the spaces available to exhibit women’s art and the ways in which physical and digital spaces can be used to provide places for this. The group engages with both artistic practice and research related to the ways in which this work is represented, interpreted and placed within history and the contemporary context.
Découverte de l’artiste’ (discovering the artist): Finding Marion Adnams through her work with a focus on ‘Infante égaréeThis video installation expresses the process of research Marion Adnams' paintings and the paper model of Infante égarée in particular. A version of paper model from the original painting has been constructed and animated in order to understand the structure of the original paper doll and to emulate the movement that is implicit in its structure. The animation was then superimposed onto the original painting. Adnams described the figure as lost and wandering in the forest and this sense of dislocation is captured within the twisting movement of the figure and haunting soundtrack. The title of the painting is also restored to Adnams’ preferred French title. The video is part of the Marion Adnams Project and illustrates an interest in practice as a form of research. The video installation formed part of the ‘Marion Adnams: A Singular Woman’ retrospective at Derby Museums and Gallery (Dec 2017-March 2018).
Defining the female artist: Marion Adnams and surrealismMarion Adnams’ work can be placed into different periods and subject matter and curating her work involves making decisions about such criteria. But to what extent are wider grouping useful in defining an artist’s work and does placing Marion Adnams in the context of Surrealism offer any insights into her practice? The relationship of women artists to Surrealism and the female/male dichotomies within the movement will be considered in relation to the ways in which they resonate with motifs and themes within Marion Adnams’ own work. French Surrealism was largely envisaged as a collective movement, encapsulated in its British counterpart in the work of artists such as Nash and Agar, in painting, found objects and poetry, which may provide an understanding of Marion’s individual yet surrealist approach to her work.
Marion Adnams symposiumA unique opportunity to further explore the life and work of Marion Adnams, including the exhibition of Marion Adnams' work and her involvement in the Midland Group, as well as broader linked themes, such as the representation of women artists.
Marion Adnams: A singular womanRetrospective of Marion Adnams' work: Marion Elizabeth Adnams was born in Derby in 1898 where she remained, for the most part, until her death, aged ninety-six. During the course of her long life, she forged a reputation as a painter of deeply distinctive and dream-like visions inspired by the Surrealist movement. Adnams exhibited almost continuously in London and regional art galleries from the late 1930s and examples of her work can be found in many public collections, alongside that of her friends and contemporaries Evelyn Gibbs and Eileen Agar. Despite this, her work is largely forgotten today. This important exhibition brings together the full and diverse range of her art for the first time in almost fifty years in a bid to recapture the legacy of this most remarkable artist. This exhibition was made possible with support from Art Fund. This exhibition was curated in partnership with Val Wood, independent researcher, and Teresa Forde, Senior Lecturer in Film and Media at the University of Derby.