To become a household name as an artist is for most, an unachievable feat, yet household names abound in society and suggest fame and notoriety. The majority of household name artists are and always have been male. Household Name seeks to redress not only this imbalance but also the inadequacies in gender representation in museums and galleries. The imprint of the physical presence in the domestic space, perceived ideas of family members, working parents, gender norms and of being at the precipice of climate breakdown, are just some of the themes scrutinised in Household Name.
The seven women artists featured in the exhibition range from internationally renowned practitioners to emerging artists, and have produced bold, innovative, exciting and engaging works in film, photography, sculpture or paint in response to the exhibition title.
Sculptor Laura Ford has exhibited extensively and has work at major institutions including TATE, V&A and National Museum Cardiff; Cherry Pickles teaches at the Royal Drawing School, London, and has also exhibited extensively, most recently with Coombs Contemporary and Kapil Jariwala; Zoe Gingell is director at Cardiff MADE which has been instrumental is propelling the careers of many Welsh and Wales-based early career artists and is co-founder of the Mothersuckers project; Zena Blackwell explores the anxiety-ridden role of the parent and won 1st Prize at Cardiff MADE Open in '17 and this year 3rd prize at PS Mirabel's 'PAINT' (Manchester). Fern Thomas currently has a Fellowship supported by The Freelands Foundation at g39, Cardiff, and is a 2019 Jerwood Bursary recipient; Adele Vye has won Welsh Artist of the Year and was awarded the John Brookes Memorial Prize for Fine Art; whilst Raji Salan won a BA travel award upon graduation and has exhibited in numerous exhibitions including the Jerwood Drawing Prize (twice) and most recently Galeri in Caernarfon.
Wales has demonstrated its ability to lead the World in myriad ways; the devolved Welsh government has introduced a host of legislation to benefit the environment and human health which have described as 'World leading' by the UN. Welsh artists also step up to this mantle, especially those in this exhibition. Wales, as a cultural destination, can sometimes be overlooked, but Household Name stands loud and proud, demanding attention.
Cardiff is home to the UK's highest paying international art prize, Artes Mundi; The Freelands Fellowship has recently been introduced at g39 whilst a-n held an Assembly event here last year. Swansea hosts BEEP! Painting biennial which attracts artists from all of the World, while the rest of Wales has World-class galleries dotted around from Oriel Davies to MOSTYN, Chapter Arts to g39.
Household Name is curated by Zena Blackwell who founded Contemporary Cymru in 2017