Donachie Rhodes Ryan

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This June, the Freelands Foundation is pleased to present ‘Donachie Rhodes Ryan’, a group exhibition bringing together all three female recipients of the Freelands Award in one location. The exhibition will include: Jacqueline Donachie (2016, The Fruitmarket Gallery), Lis Rhodes (2017, Nottingham Contemporary) and Veronica Ryan (2018, Spike Island).

The Freelands Award was established in 2016 to enable a regional arts organisation to present a large-scale solo exhibition, including a significant new work, by a mid-career female artist who may not have yet received the acclaim or public recognition that her work deserves. The total value of the award is £100,000, of which £25,000 is to be paid directly to the artist chosen by the organisation.

Henry Ward, Freelands Foundation’s Creative Director and the curator of this exhibition, comments that “the exhibition comes at an appropriate time. Over the past three years, since the founding of the award, we have seen an increased interest in the position of women artists and the challenges they face. The three artists presented here represent a diversity of practice and breadth of concerns.”

The London exhibition, hosted in the Freelands Foundation gallery, will celebrate the first three years of the Freelands Award and coincides with the fourth iteration of the Foundation’s annual research report. The independent report continues to explore opportunities and ongoing challenges facing female artists in the UK, spanning the commercial and public sector.

The forthcoming exhibition will unite the three female artists, covering diverse subject matter and mediums, featuring Donachie’s “An Era of Small Pleasures”, a major sculptural installation, which in its form emulates a festive paper chain but is actually made from heavy loops of dark leather; Rhodes’ “Notes from Light Music”, a seminal film from 1975-77, made in response to the absence of female composers from the classical canon, and Veronica Ryan’s “Salvage”, a work created during the artist’s residency at The Hepworth Wakefield in 2017, which examines the work of Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore and their deep connections with Yorkshire.

Alongside these key works, Freelands Foundation will use the Reading Room to create an educational resource display that focuses on the research and the evolution of the Freelands Award, alongside a curated selection of relevant texts and books on woman artists. This will highlight all the organisations that have been shortlisted to date, including the recently announced shortlist for the Freelands Award Year 4.