Some Roses And Their Phantoms

30 Apr 2024 – 4 May 2024

Regular hours

Tue, 30 Apr
11:00 – 18:00
Wed, 01 May
11:00 – 18:00
Thu, 02 May
11:00 – 18:00
Fri, 03 May
11:00 – 18:00
Sat, 04 May
11:00 – 18:00

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Bermondsey Project Space

England, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • C10 Victoria to Canada Water (Stop F Bermondsey Street)
  • London Bridge - Borough
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A group exhibition of works by Sandra Beccarelli, Camilla Bliss, Miranda Boulton, Florence Reekie, Sue Williams A’Court.

Presented by Darl.e and the Bear


‘Here some roses from a very different garden sit?, lie?, stand?, gasp, dream?, die? on white linen. They may serve you tea or coffee. As I saw them take shape on the canvas I was amazed by their solemn colors and their quiet mystery that called for – seemed to demand – some sort of phantoms. So I tried to give them their phantoms and their still-lifeness’ Dorothea Tanning, 1952

Each artist’s work re-examines the narrative behind Surrealist artist Dorothea Tanning’s painting, Some Roses and Their Phantoms.

As contemporary female artists, how do they relate and question as Tanning did our expectations of what a still life painting is, in relation to the domestic and bourgeois ritual of ‘table laying’. Upon this laid table roses are scattered like sad, misshaped animal-like creatures, brown from being picked and left to dry. A crumpled napkin, an un-ironed tablecloth with fold marks visible cover the surface of the table. The teapot has mutated into a mantis-like creature, a large rose peeps from behind the table – watching, waiting. A china plate can be seen under the cloth, covered, visible but hidden at the same time.

Painted some 10 years after the end of Surrealism, Tanning felt female artists had still not gained the recognition they deserved. Tanning’s other paintings of that era, The Rose and the Dog, and Poached Trout also refer to the despondency of domestic life, this offers a complete change to the ten years since her optimistic self portrait Birthday, a strong visual image of her, prepared to show herself, a strong women dominating the visual space, sexually charged, the multiple recession of doors showing the exciting adventures that lay ahead.

Discussing the recent exhibition at Whitechapel Gallery, Phantoms of Surrealism, co-curators Nayia Yiakoumaki and Cameron Foote wrote: ‘The experiences of women artists working today are incomparable to the conditions faced by women in the 1930s. Nevertheless, art historical canons continue to be problematic and, through art history and art education, an inaccurate or incomplete picture is frequently conveyed. The references still often taught from this era of art are predominantly of male artists, often incorrectly framed as ‘the brains’ behind the surrealist movement or political activism in Britain. While institutional recognition of female artists is gradually improving, patriarchy is still dominant.’


julie wigg

Exhibiting artistsToggle

Sandra Beccarelli

Camilla Bliss

Miranda Boulton

Florence Reekie

Sue Williams A'Court

Taking part

Darl-e and the Bear

Darl-e and the Bear


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