Mirror Mirror: Self-portraits by women artists
Past exhibition archive
12 September 2001 - 20 January 2002
The self-portrait has always been an artist's most intriguing vehicle for analysis and self-expression. This exhibition brought together all of the self-portraits by women artists from the Gallery's collection alongside loans and new works acquired or commissioned by the Gallery.
Spanning four centuries, the exhibition included work by 40 artists, from the mid 17th century to the present day. It featured works in all media, including oil painting, photography, prints drawings and sculpture. Highlights of the exhibition included self-portraits by major artists and photographers such as Mary Beale, Gwen John, Barbara Hepworth, Lee Miller, Eileen Agar, Laura Knight and Maggi Hambling. Lesser-known figures were also represented - Lallie Charles, the Zinkeisen sisters, Helen Chadwick, and an astonishing self-portrait ceramic relief by Susie Cooper.
Several contemporary artists contributed work to the exhibition including Yolanda Sonnabend, Elizabeth Blackadder, Victoria Crowe, Jennifer McRae and Daphne Todd.
The unusual freedom offered to the artist by the dual roles of subject and creator allows the viewer a unique opportunity to see the artist represented in their own terms. The exhibition introduced the history and function of the self-portrait and raises questions of identity, style and technique as well as exploring social, historical and gender issues.