Yorkshire born Margaret Harrison is one of today’s most significant artists. For over 50 years, she has been challenging the establishment with a humorous, feminist, subversive and immensely skilful practice that has been highly effective in forcing real changes in social attitudes. Now living and working between Cumbria and California she won the Northern Art Prize in 2013 and this is a key presentation of her work in the UK.
As one of the founders of the London Women’s Liberation Art Group in 1970, Harrison has always been at the forefront of addressing social concerns and political controversy. Margaret Harrison: Accumulations will survey her output from the 1980s to the present day, focusing on protest, with her latest work engaging with notions of political antagonism.
Harrison’s practice has always explored the countless economic transformations of the current age, from women’s labour movement to militarisation, and today she is readdressing these interests in the light of contemporary life. More recently she has also embraced themes of cultural history such as the mainstream representations of female beauty in the Western pictorial tradition.
Using a range of media and subjects, the exhibition features two existing installations: The Last Gaze, presented for the Northern Art Prize in 2013 and Common Reflections (2013), a representation of the fence at Greenham Common, produced using concrete, wire fencing, corrugated zinc and mirror panels. Also on show will be drawings, including the Beautiful Ugly Violence series, a critique of domestic violence; and Very Close To Getting In Touch With My Masculinity, a series of satirical representations of superheroes with female attributes.