Women’s Arts at Butetown History & Arts Centre

The Butetown History & Arts Centre is the venue for one of four Women’s Arts Association exhibitions in celebration of International Women’s Day 2015.  There are 45 women artists here in the Diversity Gallery.

Penelope Rose Cowley (below) has curated the exhibition this year, with help from Lauren Butcher and the vital drilling and support of Walter, here seen helping Penny to put Veronica Wilson’s painting the correct way up.  Quite important.

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The exhibition drew a crowd to enjoy the formal opening by Tracey Harding, the Vale’s Arts Development Officer.  One of six successful artists inspired at school, she did her degree at Manchester Metropolitan and her main love is dance.


The event was accompanied by singer songwriter Phillipa Irving, and was filmed by trainee journalists from  Cardiff Uni who obviously had impeccable taste (ie they include my painting on their site).

Created with Nokia Smart Cam

The exhibition is on until April 4th and has both exciting work from exhibitors new to Women’s Arts and pieces from more established members: these include ceramics, digital and various 2-d. Here are a few.

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New to Women’s Arts is Maria Larsson, with deeply symbolic bound terracotta feet.  Welcome back is Mitra Sanei’s calligraphy (for me recalling Pam Harris in Kirtlington and lettering on photos for Gillman & Soame – I can still do the silver filigree).

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Emma J Lawson’s piece is tall and heavily textured – photos don’t do it justice.  There is wit in Dianne Setch’s digital portrait.


Jenni Steele produced a dizzying road-dvd, flanked by a Dilys Jackson print and Jan Bennett’s bright multi-media.

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A smaller painting by Shirley Anne Owen above a Hilary Lomas photograph are between Rose Gwyn’s mosaic and Melanie Wotton’s circular occupation of alcoves.  Nicola Bennett’s anger is hard to miss: Nuria Otte’s red woman was a personal favourite and the chicken – er, no, Magic Flute by Nicola Hope – made me laugh.

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There’s plenty of variety: here’s Claudia Carrillo’s charcoal.  And, of course, we are celebrating International Women’s Day and Pam Blackhurst’s acrylic and resin is in suffragette colours of green, purple and white.  With gold.



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