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Co-curation as feminist practice: exhibiting the work of Marion AdnamsThis article explores the co-curation of the ‘Marion Adnams: A Singular Woman’ exhibition at Derby Museum and Art Gallery (December 2017 to March 2018). The process of co-curation is a productive and challenging way to engage with an artist’s work. The discussion adopts a feminist perspective to consider the act of curation and the considerations involved in organising and engaging with an artist’s life and work. The place of an artist within narratives of art history can be problematic and challenging and the process of drawing together a body of work for exhibition raises as many questions as it answers. However, this discussion considers the extent to which this is a constructive and significant activity and the ways in which co-curation can contribute to reincorporating artists such as Marion Adnams into art history and recuperating her work and its contribution to British art history and beyond. The approach to feminist co-curation includes a consideration of how to present a female artist’s work and the issues involved in curating an exhibition as a representation of their practice.
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.