Herstory: A Decade On

by The RGI Kelly Gallery | Glasgow
Date of event: 06/03/21 - 22/03/21

Herstory Portrait –  A Decade on.

To celebrate International Women’s Day (IWD) on the 8th March 2021 the RGI are proud to present, in collaboration with the artist Sharon Thomas, an online exhibition honouring the painting series ‘Herstory Portrait – A Decade On’. ‘Herstory Portrait’ is an art project directed by Thomas mapping female power and influence in contemporary Scotland through the eyes and practice of a female artist making paintings in 21st Century Glasgow.

Over a 12-month period leading to the Centenary Anniversary of IWD in 2011, Thomas visited seven female subjects in their own working environments from Holyrood, the Crown Office and the Glasgow School of Art. The drawings from these sittings formed the base for the final series of egg tempera on gesso panels that were presented in IWD at Glasgow Trades Hall.

Whilst developing this important work Thomas was honoured to invite artist and writer Frances Robertson to interview these women during their sittings. The work consists of seven portraits and working sketches of: Seona Reid, Jean McFadden, Ruth Wishart, Kathy Chambers, Elish Angiolini, Johann Lamont and Deanna Maganias.

These interviews alongside the commissioned writings from Glasgow Women’s Library Founder Adele Patrick, Art Historian Francesco Nevola and Writer Grainne Rice provide a unique perspective to the seminal work that is ‘Herstory Portrait’: an artwork mapping a milestone period in Scottish Cultural and Political Herstory.

About the Artist:

Sharon Thomas (b. 1979) is a British figurative artist and lecturer living and working in Glasgow, UK.

A central theme within her work is that of the role of artist as author, analyst, and maker; questioning social constructs, their consequential rituals and arts role within that. Using imaginary material, excerpts from her personal history and the ‘real’ history of art, Thomas presents fictional alongside factual narratives where drawing, painting and installation explore subjects such as gender, class and sexuality.

Thomas’ drawings and paintings have been invited for solo exhibitions across Europe, including locations such as Museet for Religios kunst, Denmark; and The Mandrake Gallery, New Mexico, and Paisley Museum, UK; with exhibitions also taking her work routes across the USA via art fairs in Chicago, USA and Milan, Italy represented by Brooklyn gallery Jack the Pelican Presents; then Washington DC, USA and Cortona, Italy with Italian gallery Teverina Fine Arts.