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Breaking the Mould, Lakeside Arts

This was an astounding collection of sculpture by women who have incorporated varied materials, ideas and experiences into their work and as usual, the Lakeside Arts gallery did not disappoint. 50 women sculptors were shown, many of whom had been airbrushed out of the limelight in favour of (possibly far less avant-guarde) male counterparts. It was wonderful to see such a range of powerful artistic expression but it still wrangled with me that these women played second fiddle to a self righteous male clan.

The artists shown were from diverse backgrounds and had varied approaches to creating their work, some hinting at feminine experience and others cultural heritage. The work of Sarah Lucas stood out for its intestinal, visceral appearance of body parts but close inspection revealed that the forms were enclosed in delicate stockings.

It’s always great to see work by Cornelia Parker, Barbara Hepworth and Rachel Whiteread in 3D as only then can you walk around it, feel its mass and enjoy how it punctuates the world. Such great work that competes with, and often exceeds the quality of, any equivalent in the male-dominated sculpture world.

The curated blend of naturalistic amorphous forms and geometric abstraction made for some interesting juxtapositions as I found my eyes finding order and chaos in unexpected places. Another memorable exhibition by the gallery, that other more prominent institutions could learn from.

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