SALUTE: Cambridge gallery to launch all-female exhibition to celebrate women in the arts

To commemorate Women’s History Month, Cambridge-based gallery, Extraordinary Objects, is launching a new, all-female exhibition celebrating women in the arts. Curated by gallery owner, Carla Nizzola, and launching on Saturday 26 March, the new exhibition, SALUTE, will display works in a range of mediums by established international names and local and emerging talent.

Carla comments: “Although slow progress is being made in levelling the various disparities between male and female artists, the statistics are still shocking; there are a roughly equal number of male and female artists working today, however works sold by women make up only two percent of the total value of sales in the art market.

“The museum sector is scarcely better. In The Met alone, less than 5% of the artists represented are women, while 85% of the nudes are female. A new generation of female curators, gallerists, collectors and critics are working to change things. As a young female gallerist, I’m excited to play a role in working towards gender quality in the Art World.”

SALUTE brings together 10 influential female artists from various cultures and backgrounds who are all currently working to make a difference in the Art World. The exhibition not only celebrates these talented women, but highlights the importance of female creativity and expression in a male-dominated industry.

SALUTE will feature internationally renowned artists Bridget Riley, Tracey Emin, Jenny Holzer and Swoon, alongside emerging and local talents Lakwena Maciver, Helen Beard, Lynne Strover, Mel Fraser, Elena Saraceni and Olivia Wright.

Cambridge artists exhibiting are Lynne Strover and Mel Fraser. Strover hand-crafts bold and eccentric silver jewellery using the highest quality materials. Each piece is carefully considered and unique, making her the go-to craftswoman in Cambridgeshire for bespoke jewellery pieces. Fraser carves contemporary sculptures from natural materials such as selenite, alabaster and marble. From large-scale abstract pieces to the more figurative designs, her work has been shown at numerous art fairs and held by collectors across Europe, New York and Hong Kong as well as the UK’s most prestigious sculpture exhibition ‘On Form’.

Known for her dizzying op art paintings, Bridget Riley first rose to prominence in the 1950s, and quickly established herself as an artist of international importance. Today she is celebrated as one of the UK’s most beloved artists of any gender, and her work is in the collections of every major contemporary museum worldwide. In 2008 her painting, ‘Chant 2’ (1967), sold for a record $5.1 million at auction. 

Swoon’s (Caledonia Curry) early career as a classically trained artist who chose to work in the street led to her becoming the world’s best known female street artist. Since then, she has expanded her practice to include film-making, large scale gallery and museum installations, music videos and architecture. Known for her activism and politically and socially engaged large scale projects, Swoon’s work can be found in The Tate, Moma, The Boston ICA, and The Brooklyn Museum, which, in 2017, hosted a solo exhibition of her work. 

Tracey Emin emerged during the Brit Art movement of the 1990s alongside Damien Hirst, Sarah Lucas and Gary Hume. Emin gained notoriety for installations such as ‘My Bed’ (1998) which consisted of her unmade bed littered with bedroom objects. Widely ridiculed at the time, ‘My Bed’ eventually sold at Christies in July 2014 for £2.5 million. Regard for Emin has evolved over the years and she has become something of a national treasure. Emin was accepted into The Royal Academy in 2007. 

Jenny Holzer is an American political artist who, since the 70s, has been focused on the delivery and impact of words and ideas in public spaces and social settings. Part of a group of female artists who in the 1980s harnessed the power of art to forward the feminist movement, Holzer maintains her position as one of the most influential political artists.

Rising star Lakwena Maciver is celebrated for her boldly coloured paintings and murals about hope, paradise and escapism. Based in London, her work has been shown internationally in cities including London, Paris, New York, Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Miami, and her work is being commissioned by serious collectors worldwide.

After a successful career as an art director in the film industry, Helen Beard decided to dedicate her career to her artistic practice, working in the diverse mediums of paint, collage and needlepoint. Her work vibrates with movement and colour in a celebration of the erotic experience. Beard has exhibited in numerous group shows and has recently enjoyed successful solo shows in London and Amsterdam.

London-based emerging talents are Olivia Wright and Elena Saraceni. Wright creates delicate surreal collages from found materials. In 2021 she released her first limited edition print which sold-out within hours. Multi-disciplinary artist Saraceni has worked internationally as an artist and curator. Her current body of work uses masses of dyed hair to challenge the viewer to question their self-projection.

A necklace by Lynne Strover which will feature in the exhibition and artwork by Mel Fraser

SALUTE will run from 26 March – 21 April at Extraordinary Objects Gallery, 14 Green St, Cambridge, CB2 3JU, with the Private View Launch held on Fri 25 March from 6-8pm. For further information contact Carla oncarla@extraordinary-objects.co.uk, visit the website at extraordinaryobjects.co.uk and follow @ExtraordinaryObjectsUK on Instagram.

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