ARTIST BIOS & STATEMENTS
Alessandra B-B (she/her/hers)
Alessandra B-B, a professional artist from Belarus, was born in 1986 in Vitebsk. Small yet remarkable town of Marc Chagall, the founder of the avant-garde school. During her studies at the institute Alessandra won a scholarship in Barcelona with her project. One year in this Spanish city had a tremendous influence on her work. Picasso, Gaudi, its architecture, all this formed her further aspirations. Next ten years Alessandra lived in Moscow, painting, teaching and taking part in exhibitions, but she could not let go of her desire to come back to Spain. Since 2017, the artist has been living in Barcelona and working in her studio.
‘I’ve been studying how time alters fruit and vegetables from growth to decay and how they change depending on the conditions. I re-assessed my body not to be young and full of vitality forever. It will decay. Society conditioned us to think the process of decay is shameful and depressing. I am fascinated by ageing and the transformation of not only my physical body but my life experiences. I want every woman in the world to appreciate every stage of life, to love their bodies and natural changes’
Angela Johnson (she/they)
Angela Johnson is a London-based, multi-disciplinary artist using performance, painting and drawing to investigate and explore the human condition. Her current focus is the impact of societal structures on our experience of ourselves as unique beings. She works to challenge and disrupt the categorisation inherent in defining who we are and hopes to examine the potential that is accessible to us if we become something other than the ‘norm’. Angela uses her performance films to explore her experience of the body and of feeling states, and then uses stills from these as source material to inform her 2D work. She uses a variety of mixed media including acrylic, oil and drawing materials and works on canvas, and more recently found materials.
‘My practice is focussed on investigating gender as a lived experience and explores the way societal structures can impact the way we strive to fulfill our potential. I ‘dress up’ and film performances of myself, privately, within a domestic space and use these films as source material for my 2D work. I use painting, drawing and printmaking to respond to the film stills and try to communicate the experience of the performance on the body within my work.
My hope with my practice is to find ways of opening up a dialogue with people on a deeper, more fundamental level, specifically focussing on who each of us are as unique beings. I want to find threads of experience that will help us to reframe our experiences of ourselves and as a collective, find ways to reconnect and re-orient together.
Anna Kalachyan (she/her)
Anna Kalachyan is a self-taught artist from Los Angeles, California. She is a 4th generation artist who grew up in a house full of multidisciplinary artists who strongly influenced her work. She is first-generation Armenian-American and elements of her Armenian heritage and identity can be found in her work which often feature subjects with bold West Asian characteristics and indigenous two dimensional shapes and patterns.
‘My artistic process is very spontaneous - my artwork is unplanned and starts with a urge to create. I start with a blank sheet of paper and then I let go and see where my hand and my mind take me. I have no intention of creating specific features or subjects of a specific gender, I just draw until something I create moves me and is ready to make it's way onto its final canvas.
In a world that often leaves me feeling anxious, apathetic, and frustrated, my artistic process allows me to be the best version of myself -- through the exploration of my subconscious I become someone who is focused, creative, passionate, hopeful, connected and calm. I strive to bring the same feelings to those viewing my art.’
Anna Pakosz is exploring the female experience through an eccentric lens. Her paintings act as a stage which brings together the myriad of impressions, feelings, sensations that she has come into contact with; both observed and experienced. In her paintings she explores an evolution from an immediacy of vivid colours and figuration, weaving through to carefully constructed allegorical still life. She is creating intimate harmonious arrangements that are juxtaposed with provoking bizarre qualities.
‘My starting point is always observing the world around me. A feeling of deep joy and beauty sweeps over my body and I want to react to it. I find the human body fascinating. Especially women, and dancers. They hold a great inspiration to me, and I want to share it. I feel that there is something unexpressed about our joy and freedom that I want to explore.’
Annis Harrison (she/her)
Annis Harrison is a multi-disciplinary artist who lives and works in London.Of Swedish and Jamaican heritage, she adopted the UK as home after attending St Martins Art College.Both in Sweden and in the UK, Annis has always occupied her own space, having a foot in more than one culture, more than one ethnicity, more than one language.
Neither outside nor inside.
‘This series of paintings is about the space between dream and reality, or the time between night and day when slightly unbelievable things – almost magical realist things – can happen. But there is also a criticism of white, male, Eurocentric power structure – in the pest-like presence of the ‘Bunny Boys’, forever in the way. The paintings are suffused and softened with the language of humour, but a harder edge lies just beneath.
I’m using the visual leagues of satire to express a criticism of the constant ‘taking’ of part of black culture, but still not allowing black people to enter into the general structure of British fabric’
Astrid Vlasman (she/her)
Astrid Vlasman is a visual artist and lives and works in Leiden, the Netherlands. She studied at the Vrije Academie in The Hague. For years she has been working on large collages with used paper and mixed media. In recent years she has regularly worked as an artist in residence abroad. She also exhibits there. Last year she won the New Collection Prize through Malamegi in Venice. Furthermore, she has won the audience award at the "limits of freedom" exhibition in Leiden. Interviews have also been published in newspapers and a column by her about her work and travels in an artists' magazine. Her work has been included in several private collections. In recent years she has exhibited her work in the west of the Netherlands. She also had exhibitions in Hungary, Belgrade and Venice last year.
‘I love the vibrancy of paper; of the function it has had as a vegetable bag, test, envelope, shopping bag or wrapping paper. With this material that I come across every day; I stick my canvases. I cherish the volatility of old paper and appreciate it as an expression: it takes on a new shape because of me. For me, paper in my hands means freedom, an endless space full of possibilities. It's material I experimented with playfully as a toddler.
This creates work in which people and their environment are central. Often it is women in uncomfortable situations or attitudes, who look lost and dreamily into the world at an unwatched moment. I make the uncertainties and vulnerability of man visible. Due to the layering of the paper, you get into the skin of the subject. In the interiors I make you can still see the traces that people have left behind, a glass on the table, a book on the floor. They are out of the picture themselves. They are abandoned spaces. Rooms and kitchens where it looks like someone else was present.’
Cassie Arnold (she/her)
Cassie received her BFA in Visual Art Studies from the University of North Texas. She has spent the last decade teaching in both private and public secondary schools and has showcased her work in the Ashurst Art Prize in London, Mother Art Prize in London, Birth Rites Collection at Kings College, Fantastic Fibers International Exhibition, and numerous other Fine Art exhibitions around the United States and Europe. Cassie's work has also been featured in international publications such as Maker's Magazine's Women's Issue, Friend of the Artist, SLEEK Magazine in Berlin, Vogue Russia, Glamour Brazil, and Fiber Art Now's Excellence in Fibers Exhibition. Cassie, her husband, and three girls live, work, and play in Denton, Texas.
‘My work explores the unspoken and taboo topics connected to life as a woman. Whether it be inspired by miscarriage, breastfeeding, or the transformative female form, my art encourages all people to engage in an open and unashamed dialogue. By using traditional fiber techniques like hand knitting, my hope is to challenge and therefore change the cultural narrative of “women’s work.” Stitch by stitch, my goal is to push back against the stereotypes surrounding females, their bodies, their work, their capabilities, and their lives.’
Christina Brown (she/her)
An artist and Educator based in London, Christina graduated in 2009 from Kingston University with a First Class Fine Art Degree. After several years working within the creative industries in London, Christina completed her PGCE at The Institute of Education UCL. Following this, she also studied for an MA in Art and Design in Education, finishing with a distinction. As an artist, Christina works predominantly in textiles, in particular hand embroidery, her work explores themes of identity, motherhood and the universal/personal lived experience. She has exhibited regularly in London, and organises workshops and art events.
‘My work deals with body image pre and post pregnancy, the overwhelming feelings of your body no longer being your own when looking after young children, and the significance of mundane moments such as dozing with children who rarely sleep. With a quality of line that is abstracted and almost dreamlike, and a focus on hand embroidery - a slow and meditative process, my work links back to themes of maternal mental health and exhaustion as well as exploring what it means to be both an artist and a mother.’
Claudia Doring Baez
Born In Mexico City, I am a New York based artist. My paintings are animated by a reverence for art history and literature, rendered in a contemporary, expressionistic vocabulary. I engage in conversations with work of some of the great artists from the past centuries that I resonate with - select, re-create, and adopt details from images to create my own language.
‘My work is steeped with references ranging from German Expressionism to Marcel Proust, Brassaï, the rich renditions of Titian to abstracted versions of the work of Johannes Vermeer and contemporary artists such as Cindy Sherman. Through these I explore relationships and roles women play throughout history. These paintings are explorations of strong women painted by men, revisited through my eyes - Delacroix's Liberty Leading The People and Poussin's Bacchanal.’
Damaris Athene (she/her)
Damaris Athene graduated from Camberwell College of Arts in 2015 with a BA(Hons) in Painting. She was shortlisted for the Hans Brinker Painting Prize in Amsterdam in 2014, the Clyde & Co. Art Award in 2015, the BEEP Painting Prize in 2018, and La Vienisima’s feminist photography prize in 2021. In 2019 Athene held a solo show, ‘Cheer Up Love’, at Cambridge University. In 2021 Athene held two solo shows, ‘I Wish I Was As Hot As My Memoji’ at TOD Gallery and ‘If Only I Could Be 2D’ at Compact Contemporary, and Athene started 2022 with a solo show ‘All Trussed Up and Nowhere to Go’ at ] G A Z E [ Art Space. Athene founded the blog Private View where she interviews femxle artists.
‘My interdisciplinary practice examines how digital technology is altering the world around us and affecting how we interact with and perceive our bodies. I interrogate the flattening and perfecting of the digital world through an exploration of corporeal abstraction in painting, sculpture, performance, photography, digital collage, and printmaking, often assembling self referential installations.
I take particular interest in female bodies, and how the myriad of appearance altering apps enable the creation of ‘perfect selves’ --- digitising our dysmorphia. Digitally altered selfies now replace the aspirational images of celebrities once taken to plastic surgeons. In my work I cross the boundary between 2D and 3D, digital and physical, my practice feeding itself like the ouroboros and mirroring the constant regurgitation of imagery served on the internet. Does our corporeality become more abject in contrast with digital perfection?’
Ema Shin is a Narrm(Melbourne/Australia) based artist who was born and grew up in Niigata, Japan. She studied at Tama Art University, Tokyo and completed a Master of Fine Art Degree at Aichi Prefectural Art University, Nagoya. She has held numerous solo and group exhibitions in Japan, Korea, Australia and other countries. From 2005 to 2007 Ema participated in Artist-in-residency programs and community projects in Japan, Mexico, Spain and Kenya. Ema first came to Australia in 2010 on an Overseas Research Grant from the Pola Art Foundation, Japan after which she based her art practice in Melbourne.
Since the birth of her first child in 2014 she has integrated her artwork with daily life, working in a home studio producing works that celebrate women’s lives and bodies. Her multi disciplinary practice, application of historical techniques and use of tactile materials result in contemporary artworks that express femininity and sexuality.
‘Hearts of Absent Women’ is dedicated to the lives of women who remain unrecognised. In this artwork I would like to celebrate women’s anonymous resilience and silent achievements. It is a homage to all peoples physical and emotional qualities through hearts that represent life and emotions.’
Jaleh Sadravi (she/they)
Born in Oakland, California, Jaleh Sadravi started as a videographer and photographer. She started painting during the pandemic in 2020. She is an instinctive artist who paints in acrylics by applying colours directly to the canvas using squeeze bottles and spreading the paint with scrapers. Her movement and sensitivity are at the heart of her bright and colourful work. Passion, perseverance, and commitment have contributed to her success as a painter. From her abstract paintings to her portraits, there is a movement and freshness that makes her work interesting and popular.
Lena Snow (she/her)
Lena was born in Schwetzingen, Germany (29.09.1989) and started to create art when she was a teenager and had her first exhibition at the age of sixteen. Besides producing several series over the years, Lena earned a master’s degree at the University of Mannheim and Heidelberg. Lena has had several international exhibitions in Zurich, Milan or London and Atlanta and has been participating in art fairs such as the Scope Miami or the Art Expo New York. She was published in several international art and lifestyle magazines, such as the Artist Talk Magazine, the MVIBE Magazine, or the CREATIV Mag and she has been chosen for the Contemporary Artbook of Excellence as one of the most investable artists in 2021. In December she was awarded with the Art Olympic Prize in Rome and was chosen as one of the top 60 ATIM masters of contemporary art in New York.
Lena’s works are strongly influenced by the ideas and philosophy of American Transcendentalism – a spiritual and literary movement occurring in the middle of the 19th century demanding people to become self-empowered and self-reliant. Also, the thought that intuition, creativity, and imagination were more important than logic and rationality is something she could entirely identify herself with. Especially Margaret Fuller, another important personality that enriched this movement and is considered an early feminist had an impact on Lena’s works. She pointed out that the feminine, sensitive, and emotional side is genius and contributes to a set of very subtle and precise observation skills. Therefore, the topics of spiritual enlightenment, connectivity, and female identity are always present in her art.
‘Her "planetary series" shows alien women in an expressive and colourful style. Each artwork is devoted to a certain planet or simply takes place in a foreign environment. The women in those paintings sometimes simply say from where they are, thereby acknowledging that they are different. Sometimes an ordinary scene is just taking place in a different environment aiming to show an alternate, familiar-unfamiliar reality. Although this series has been deeply inspired by the possibility of alien life and by Lena's fascination with space, its deeper meaning is to address the topic of otherness.’
Sophie Gresswell (she/her)
Sophie Gresswell is a multidisciplinary artist who explores identity, belonging and how we bridge rootlessness. In 2019/20 Sophie wrote, animated and starred in the short film 'Where are you from?' featured on BBC arts, a film which explored that inevitable, unanswerable question. Since then, her work has focused on reclaiming narratives, interconnected heritage and the power of storytelling, with a particular passion for empowering voices and visuals of women of colour.
‘I aim to use artwork to connect and begin conversations around identity and belonging. As a woman of mixed heritage my work often explores themes I encounter whilst searching for a sense of heritage across cultures and generations. My recent research into my family heritage has uncovered global histories tied to remote islands, lands of empire, exile and erasure. This has reinforced my need to explore the threads which link people’s stories together, and create work which migrates across places and time periods in order to show the complex but deeply human stories that bring us to the current moment in time, and inform the very people we are today.’