Middlesborough-based artist Diane Bowell brings her latest work to the fray at an incredibly important time: in a society where women are still consistently oppressed, silenced and misrepresented, the feminine forms that appear in Sirens of My Relief are, indeed, a relief.
Working as part of the Gilkes Street Artists collective in Middlesbrough – a group who sadly lost their own exhibition space when it was privately sold in 2014 – Bowell has been compiling the collection for the last six months. It comprises entirely of a combination of sketches and soulful, expressive paintings that explore a hidden world of emotional complexities, rendering each seemingly anonymous female portrait a reflection of the artist herself. The work also depicts ideas of power, or the lack thereof- something often touched upon by understandably frustrated female artists (such as the infamous Guerilla Girls) in what is sadly still a rather male-dominated profession.
Understandably, Sirens of My Relief comes as a refreshing reminder of the collective’s fruitful labours, as well as their determination to flourish despite the uncertainty that surrounds them. Available to view at Python Gallery from now until Friday 31st March, this showcase signals not only great things for the Gilkes Street Artists, but Bowell herself.