Kate Milsom studied Fine Art at Oxford Brookes University and The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. She worked as a designer at Raymond Loewy International and was a Course Tutor at Lambeth College before leaving London in the mid 1990s. After a period of exile in Venice where she developed her now distinctive style of ‘antique surrealism’, Kate moved to mid-Wales, where she now lives and works.
The idea behind the works in this exhibition is to celebrate remarkable people who have challenged gender stereotyping in order to live lives of adventure and professional discovery. The series features many women who have dressed as men to be able to pursue education or careers that would have been denied to them otherwise. Throughout history there are scores of women who have assumed male identities simply in order to survive financially. There are also literary women, such as Amy Dillwyn and Florence Dixie, who have used their own experiences to champion women’s rights. The series includes portraits of both men and women for whom gender identity was at best irrelevant and at worst significantly limiting to their ideas of personal freedom and sexuality. All are united by their disregard for societal norms – for a variety of reasons and to a greater or lesser extent – and they dressed accordingly. For many of these advocates of freedom and equality, ‘doing’ was far more important than personal recognition or social acceptance, the antithesis to our current ‘selfie’ generation.
Kate exhibits widely - her work has most recently been shown at the Royal West of England Academy, Bristol and in London. She has an increasing following of private European collectors from France to Croatia. We are thrilled to present this extraordinary group of works marking Kate's first exhibition at Martin Tinney Gallery.
Mary Mabbutt was born in Luton in 1951. She attended Luton School of Art and then Loughborough College of Art & Design. Between 1975 – 1978 she did post-graduate studies at the Royal Academy Schools followed by a Junior Fellowship at Cardiff College of Art from 1978 -1979. She then moved to Cornwall to become a tutor in painting at Falmouth College of Art. Mary has won numerous prizes and awards, most notably the prestigious John Moores Painting Prize in 1995. She has exhibited widely, including at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York and her work is held in numerous public and private collections.
Mary’s paintings emerge from the ordinary world of everyday surroundings, spaces and places in her life. Over the last five years she has emphasised the relationship of colour and the need to balance the immediacy of observed discovery in small-scale work with the demands and complexity of larger paintings.
Mary says about her work:
'My starting point is always my own experience and a large proportion of my paintings have been made at or of the kitchen table, which is the centre of the home.
I have also used the self-portrait as a point of departure in the observed world, a human figure that establishes a particular presence and focus of attention, which I often can’t derive from spaces or objects alone'.
Mary Mabbutt first exhibited at Martin Tinney Gallery twenty years ago and we are delighted to welcome her back with this wonderful exhibition.