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Mary Doesn't Just Wear Blue

An Exhibition

12th of July to 29th of August
at YorkExplore Library



The Virgin Mary is one of the greatest icons of Western culture and art history. For centuries her image has been used to promote models of femininity. Today, her image has gone beyond religion, and Mary can be found in necklaces, t-shirts, comic books, and even underpants.

For this exhibition, 11 Western artists re-imagine Mary as a cultural icon beyond religion. The exhibition invites the audience to explore how Mary can take shape as a non-religious icon, and how her image adapts to current times. What kind of woman do the artists show? How does Mary’s image adapt to current ideas of femininity and womanhood?

About


This exhibition is part of my PhD, an Arts-Based Research project, in which I study new meanings of femininity in contemporary secular images of Mary. In order to do so, I am looking at images from 3 different points: their creation, the images themselves, and their reception (how they are viewed).

The 11 artists of this exhibition have collaborated with the project by creating artwork reflecting their interpretation of femininity and the Virgin Mary from a non-devotional perspective.

A key part of my research is to hear your opinion. I want to interview audience members in a focus group about your views on the artwork on display, on the Virgin Mary, and femininity. Are you interested in participating?
But the exhibition is not only about interviewing for my PhD, it is also about taking academic research out of campus and into the city, to make it tangible and relevant to the people of York. This exhibition gives the public a glimpse into an Arts-Based research project; it shares part of the actual research process (not the results); it opens a window to an ongoing interdisciplinary research project, and for those who are interested, it offers the opportunity to take part in it by participating in a focus group or by leaving comments and ideas in the exhibition book.

The Artists


Sonya Bogdanova
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Sonya Bogdanova (b. 1991, Moscow), is a Chicago-based artist. She received a BFA from the School of the Art Institute in 2012, and is an MFA candidate (2021) at the University of Illinois at Chicago. She makes paintings against white supremacy, examining how power negates love and leads to oppression. Bogdanova is influenced by bell hooks, James Baldwin, Billy Bragg, Fred Hampton, and Kerry James Marshall in her approach. Bogdanova is researching and compiling a dictionary of symbols, to expose the subtle and pernicious ways Americans maintain white supremacy.



Tania Lombeida Mi√Īo
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Tania Lombeida Mi√Īo (1980)
Multidisciplinary artists, she completed a Masters in Artistic Creation: Contemporary Realisms and Treatment of Environments, at the University of Barcelona. She graduated in Fine Arts at the Universidad Central del Ecuador, and in Restauration and Museum Studies at the Universidad Tecnol√≥gica Equinoccial. She co-funded the art collective La Emancipada, with which she manages the Annual Meeting for Arte Mujeres Ecuador (AME). She also manages the project ARCHIVAS & DOCUMENTAS_Mujeres, Arte & Visualidades Ecuador (Archives & Documents_Women, Art & Visibilities Ecuador) ‚Äď an online data base about women artists and their work in the art systems. She worked as a consultant for the Organization of Ibero-American States (OEI) alongside MERCOSUR and the Argentinian Ministry of Culture, for the project Mapa de Residencias Art√≠sticas del Mercosur (2017).
In 2013 she was awarded an academic grant by the Ecuadorian government to continue her postgraduate studies in art. She has been awarded the Grant Fund for Art and Culture Projects by the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of Ecuador (both for individual and collective projects) in 2008, 2016, and 2017.
Her published work includes: ‚ÄúCase of Study: Ecuadorian Women‚Äôs Art Venue‚ÄĚ in Feminism and Museums vol 1 (2017); Archivas & Documentas: un espacio de enunciaci√≥n para las mujeres artistas in Zoila (2018). ‚ÄĚEcuador la Tierra y el Oro. Visualidades en resistencia: contacto-transferencia-interpretaci√≥n de la cobertura medi√°tica 1990-2014‚ÄĚ, University of Barcelona (2014),
Her work has been displayed in various museums, cultural centres, and galleries in Ecuador and abroad (Germany, Venezuela, Spain).



Lu Mason
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Lu Mason: I have been making mobiles out of cut paper, and putting up paper installations for ten years. I have focused on putting my work in public spaces, rather than galleries. I have been working specifically with perspex for five years, and am drawn to the way that light passes through the tinted shapes. The movement of shapes, the patterns they form, and the shadows they cast are very much part of what I am interested in. I am self taught. I work with a group of artists in York; our workspace is called Pica Studios. I enjoy the exchange of ideas and methods that come with sharing studio space.



Lesley Birch
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Lesley Birch was born in Glasgow in 1958 and has an MA in English Literature and Music. She was a professional musician for some years before embracing her art practice and studying printmaking at Harrogate College. She exhibits widely and has shown and sold in the Royal Academy and the Mall Galleries. Her paintings are most often a response to time and place, where she is interested in the power of paint and mark-making to evoke an emotional response. Work in this exhibition is inspired by Sassoferrato‚Äôs ‚ÄėMadonna at Prayer' in the National Gallery, London. www.lesleybirchart.com



Celia Martínez
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Celia Martínez
Satanic feminist. Lover of typography. Book collector. Graphic designer lost in the landscape of the word.



Maria Amparo Gomar Vidal
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Maria Amparo Gomar Vidal (1983, Val√®ncia, Spain) studied painting at the Sant Carles Visual Arts college at the Universitat Polit√®cnica de Val√®ncia. Afterwards she continued her artistic development at the Continuing Education program at the New York School of Visual Arts. In Berlin, she took a masters in Art in Context at the Universit√§t der K√ľnste. At the centre of her artistic motivations we find issues surrounding identity, memory, and believe. She currently lives and works in Berlin.



Silvia Martínez Cano
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Silvia Mart√≠nez Cano is a multidisciplinary artist. She holds a doctorate in Education, she is a Conservator Restorer of Cultural Goods (BBAA), holds a masters in Visual Arts and Education, she is an Architectural Technologist, and holds a degree in Fundamental Theology. In the arts, with her work she investigates from a triple perspective: women, education, and theology. She has regularly displayed her work in collective exhibitions since 2007, in cities such as Logro√Īo, Madrid, √Āvila, Valencia, Vitoria, C√°ceres, Badajoz, and San Sebasti√°n. She is part of a research group working on Art and Theology at the University of Winchester, at which she exhibits her work annually (20th of June to 20th of July 2019). She was awarded the National Prize by la Fundaci√≥n Santa Mar√≠a for her Educational Simulation Games (1994), and the photography prize MAV & M√ćA 2013. She is a member of the association Mujeres en las Artes Visuales (Women in the Visual Arts) since 2012, and a member of the EmpoderArte collective since 2013. Currently she works at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas (SPAIN) as a lecturer in Theology. She is the current president of the Asociaci√≥n de Te√≥logas Espa√Īolas (Asociation of Spanish Female Theologians).



Victoria Inglés
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Hi! I’m Victoria Inglés, illustrator and graphic designer. I graduated in Fine Arts at the Universidad de Salamanca. I have always spent my time among pencils and brushes, I specialise in children’s illustration and hold a degree in it from ESDIP Madrid, and a postgraduate degree from BAU Design College of Barcelona. I’m a story teller and a creator of imaginary worlds, I’m always a bit in the clouds and now I’m doing what I enjoy the most. I illustrate a bit of everythig and I don’t stick to one style, because I like changing and I believe change is always good, so you’ll never see the same thing twice in my drawings.



Gabriela Corradini
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Gabriela Corradini
Illustrator and graphic designer. I grew up in Asturias, Spain, and I trained as an illustrator and graphic designer in Barcelona. I started drawing from a very young age, someone gave me paper and pen so I would sit still for a moment and I ended up liking it. So, over the years, I got interested in it and it became part of my work, my way of killing time and sometimes my way to let off steam.



Fco Amezaga
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Fco Amezaga "Sr calavera"
Mexico 1980
CD Obregón, Sonora, Mexico
Visual Artist & Set Designer

Multidisciplinary artist, he uses a variety of expressive artistic techniques and materials in his work, including illustration, painting, sculpture, engraving, and tattoo.
His work is centred around the theme of skulls, death, and the Day of the Dead, adapting it to various symbols of Mexican folklore and of Mexico’s various indigenous ethnicities, including dances, festivities, religion, masks, and characters typical of Mexican culture.
@Sr_francisco_calavera



Pame Pazmi√Īo
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Pamela Pazmi√Īo
Born in 1984, lives and works in Quito, Ecuador. She graduated in Visual Arts from the Universidad Central del Ecuador, with a special mention in painting and engraving. She studied Technology in Graphic Design in Multimedia at the Instituto de Artes Visuales Quito, and higher education specialistion in Education and Information and Communication Tecnology at the Universidad Andina Simón Bolívar . She has a Master degree in Research in Visual Artistic Practices from the Universidad Castilla - La Mancha.
She is a co-founder of the visual arts collective La Emancipada since 2009, and has participated in collective exhibitions, and acting poducer for the annual meetings of the Arte Mujeres Ecuador since its first edition in 2012.
Her work has been displayed in various galleries and museums in Ecudor, Italy, Cuba, and the USA. In 2006 she received first prize at the Salón de Arte Contemporáneo: Mariano Aguilera, and second prize at the Bienal de Grabado: La estampa Joven in la Habana, Cuba. In 2011 she was a finalist for the Arte Laguna Prize in Venice, and at the fourth Salón de Junio en la Ciudad de Machala. In 2014 she was awarded the Premio Fondo SECU for artistic creation. In 2015 she was a finalist for the Premio Brasil in Contemporary Art. She has run individual exhibitions, including Amorfosis (2014), and El Bello Sexo (2017); as well as numerous collective exhibitions, the most recent being Sin ir más allà at the Centro Cultural Urbano Cumandá, Quito.


Events

Focus Group

Are you interested in participating in current research?

I will be conducting a group interview in the form of a workshop. In the workshop you will be asked to create an image of the Virgin Mary taking inspiration from the exhibition. While creating the images, we will discuss your thoughts on the artwork on display, and what the Virgin Mary means to you. More information here.

Date:
5th of August
Time:
14:30 ‚Äď 16:30
Location:
Brierley Room, YorkExplore


Workshop on Femininity in Art

Come and join us in this workshop to explore how contemporary artists play with femininity and challenge society’s understanding of gender.

Date:
30th of July
Time:
17:30 - 19:00
Location:
Marriot Room, YorkExplore




Workshop on Mary in Christianity and Islam

Join us for this interfaith dialogue on the importance of Mary in both Christianity and Islam.

Date:
19th of August
Time:
17:30 - 19:00
Location:
Marriot Room, YorkExplore