Exhibition challenges male dominance in art world

Published Tuesday, 14th January 2020

A ground-breaking exhibition by an emerging artist whose work challenges male dominance in the art world opens in Hartlepool this weekend.

“Under The Eaves” by Ellen Ranson runs at Hartlepool Art Gallery in Church Square from Saturday (January 18th) until March 14th.

Ellen, a recent graduate in Fine Art from Northumbria University, was awarded the John Crisp Prize for Innovative Work in Painting in 2018. She was the Paint Fellow at the university in 2018/19 and now lives and works in Newcastle.

Ellen Ranson

Ellen Ranson

She said: “Paintings are granted different levels of prominence and credibility within a gallery. Gallery and museum spaces have been typically dominated with white male artists’ representations of the female figure.

“Abstract expressionism is emblematic of these issues, whereby female artists of the era were marginalised and disregarded, whilst male artists rose to prominence. This blueprint can be applicable to contemporary patriarchal power structures.”

Ellen’s desire to question and challenge this rhetoric of male dominance and profile has led her to create physically powerful, expressive works that capture a hunger and desire for greater recognition and rebalancing of female representation within abstract expressionism.

“This colourful explosion of artistic activism will be sure to brighten up those gloomy post-Christmas January days,” said Ashley Landsbury, Museum and Art Gallery Manager at Hartlepool Borough Council.

The gallery is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 10am to 5pm and entry to the exhibition is free. For more information call (01429) 869706 or visit www.hartlepoolartgallery.co.uk