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Women's History Month 2021

Eiderdown Books, in partnership with Five Leaves Bookshop, present a new series of online evening talks about women artists for Women's History Month this March. Join us as we head back to (night) school.

First up, on Friday 5 March, Katy Norris will be introducing us all to the life and little known artistic career of Sylvia Pankhurst

The daughter of Emmeline Pankhurst (who would become one of the most recognised names in the British women’s suffrage movement), Sylvia was raised in a socialist household and sought to lead a creative life. Through her striking portraits of women at work in the factories, as well as her designs for badges, banners, murals and even tea -sets, her artistic endeavours furthered the argument for universal equal rights.

Katy Norris is an independent scholar and researcher and is an expert in Edwardian women artists. She is currently working as a postgraduate researcher in partnership with Tate and Bristol University on a collaborative Doctoral Award. Previously, she held the position of Curator at Pallant House Gallery, a leading museum of modern art in the UK. Katy read History of Art at the University of Warwick and the Courtauld Institute of Art and has curated exhibitions on various themes in Modern British art. Her publications include Sickert in Dieppe (2015) and Christopher Wood (2016).

Book your tickets for Katy's talk here


Next, on Friday 12 March, Alice Strickland talks her book on the art of Laura Knight

Laura Knight was an English Realist painter who documented life and culture in Britain during the first half of the twentieth century. Educated at a time when studying life-drawing was the preserve of male artists, Knight railed against social restrictions of the day and established her own life studio. She was a consummate documentarist and her studies of the ballet as well as her government-commissioned depictions of women’s wartime labour during the First World War are some of the this artist's most enduring works.

The first female artist to be elected a full Royal Academician, and with a career that spanned seven decades, Knight was one of the most important artists of her day. Today her work features in public collections across the UK and around the world, including Tate, the National Portrait Gallery and the Imperial War Museums, London.

You can book tickets for Alice's talk here


On Thursday 18 March, join us as Lucy Howarth takes us on a fascinating journey of discovery about the wonderful Marlow Moss.

Marlow Moss (1889–1958) was a British Constructivist artist and a central figure in the development of European non-figurative art. Her importance to the history of modern art is arguably equal to that of her contemporary and friend Piet Mondrian, and yet her name has been relegated to obscurity. A pupil of Ferdinand Léger in Paris and one of the few women within the circle of influential artists in Paris in the late 1920s, Moss’s grid-like paintings, geometric sculptures and abstract reliefs sought to create a universal language of colour and form.

Today Moss’s work is beginning to be re-examined as a new generation of artists and art historians consider her contribution to modern art. Examples of this important artist’s work can be found in museums across Europe including at the Hague, and Tate, London.

Tickets for Lucy's talk are available here


Then, we are delighted to have author Laura Smith talking about Eileen Agar on Thursday 25 March

Eileen Agar was an artist who explored painting, photography, collage and sculpture. Her independent and inventive experiments with assemblage and colour linked her work inextricably with two major art movements of European twentieth century culture: Cubism and Surrealism.

Laura Smith, who is curating a major exhibition of Agar's work at the Whitechapel Art Gallery this summer, introduces us to a spirited an lyrical artist who found inspiration in beach-finds, the natural world, mythology and classical ideas, and combined them into her own striking examples of modern art.

Tickets still available for Laura's talk here


And finally, on Wednesday 31 March we round off this special series of talks with a pre- book launch event with author Alicia Foster talking about Nina Hamnett

Nina Hamnett was an artist, illustrator and writer who was associated with the bohemian and avant-garde circles of the London and Parisian art scenes in the first decades of the twentieth century.

Hamnett’s career included designs for the Bloomsbury Group’s Omega Workshops; she was also an artist’s model for her friend Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, and published her life-story in two autobiographies. But it was her sensitive and formal still life paintings, her striking, often acerbic drawings, and her perceptive portraits of poets, dancers and friends which defined her achievements as an artist.

Alicia Foster, associate curator of the exhibition on the artist at Charleston this summer, brings together works from public and private collections to foreground the accomplishments of a talented and ambitious woman who wasn’t afraid to do things differently. In this book, for the first time, Nina Hamnett is celebrated as an artist in her own right.

Book your tickets for this first-look at the forthcoming book here


Our thanks to Five Leaves Bookshop for organising this series of night school online talks and also to Arts Council England for their support in making them happen.

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