Creativity is overflowing in Cambridge, with the spotlight on female creators, nature scenes and live performance pieces
To celebrate Women’s History Month, Extraordinary Objects’ latest exhibition Salute features works created exclusively by females – from big names like Bridget Riley and Tracey Emin to local talent and up-and-coming London-based figures. The exhibition celebrates female creativity and the importance of giving voice to women in a traditionally male-dominated industry: “Although slow progress is being made in levelling the disparities between male and female artists, the statistics are still shocking,” says owner and curator Carla Nizzola.
“There are roughly an equal number of male and female artists working today, however works sold by women make up only 2% of the total value of sales in the market. As a young female gallerist, I’m excited to play a role in working towards gender equality in the art world.” Make sure to stop by Salute, which runs until 21 April at Extraordinary Objects gallery in Cambridge, to see the dizzying and gorgeously geometric About Lilac by Bridget Riley, the provocative Inflammatory Essays of Jenny Holzer, as well as works by Cambridge creatives Lynne Strover and Mel Fraser.
Take a trip to Wysing Arts Centre in Bourn to experience A Tender Ascent, an immersive audio-visual installation created by choreographer and performer Maëva Berthelot and musician, vocalist and DJ Coby Sey. Also forming part of the exhibition are a series of sculptures developed as a collaboration with Alexandre Bavard. Filmed in Wysing’s gallery space, the audio-visual installation sees two figures move in and out of time to a varied soundtrack of synth and piano music, as they explore instruments, a stage set, the natural world and each other – while dressed in hazmat suits. Referencing the strangeness of science fiction, it also recalls the isolation induced by the pandemic, offering a thought-provoking reflection on life over the past two years. On 16 April, the creators of A Tender Ascent will return to Wysing Arts Centre to ‘reactivate’ the gallery with a live performance. The exhibition runs until 14 May and is open from Wednesday to Saturday, 12pm-5pm – booking is essential.
Things are also busy at Byard Art this month, with two different exhibitions. A Breath of Fresh Air runs until 17 April and offers an introduction to four contemporary artists: Melanie Goemans, Donald MacDonald, Greg Pearson and Lucy du Sautoy. The latter will display two works by the name of Cambridge Muse, which meld her signature style with images of Cambridge architecture. On 23 April, the gallery opens its Home and Garden Exhibition, which runs until 22 May. With
works by Alison Pullen, Fletcher Prentice and Marcelle Milo-Gray, it’s an opportunity to scout out horticulturally themed artworks for your home.
At Ely Cathedral from 1-21 April, there’s the chance to visit Toward the Light, featuring works by Essex-based printmaker Janet French. Using leaves and fibres collected from walks in East Anglia, Janet creates beautiful handmade screen prints that represent the fragile, symbiotic relationship between humanity and the natural environment. A selection of original works will be on display in The Lady Chapel and available for purchase.
Also, don’t miss the brilliant Hockney exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum and Downing College’s Heong Gallery. You can find out what to expect here.