Beyond the Gaze – Reclaiming the Landscape explores contemporary landscape painting by women painters and seeks to subvert the historical tendencies of a male dominated genre.
Throughout history, women have often been portrayed in landscape paintings as passive or idealized subjects, rather than active participants in the scene. Male artists typically depicted women as muses, workers, or symbols of nature, representing beauty, purity, and innocence. Women were often depicted in a state of undress, with flowing hair and delicate features, creating an image of femininity that was both vulnerable and alluring. Depictions were largely idealized and objectified, with little agency or power given to the female subjects.
In this exhibition women artists—none of whom would consider themselves to be landscape painters in a traditional sense—seize ownership of the genre by exploring activity that takes place within a landscape, and in doing so define the worldview from their own perspective. Each artist approaches the subject distinctively, and in combination explore landscape as an arena for human endeavour; nature as memento mori; the imaginary; the ritualistic; and the archaic.
Featured artists include: Emma Bennett, Kiera Bennett, Kirsty Harris, Dannielle Hodson, Lisa Ivory, Melissa Kime, Joanna Whittle
Curated by Zavier Ellis
Zavier Ellis commented: “I’m delighted to curate Beyond the Gaze – Reclaiming the Landscape at Saatchi Gallery in London. The gallery has always been at the forefront of progressive contemporary art and it’s exciting to present one of the most traditional genres with a new perspective."