We are very pleased to announce Underbelly, a solo exhibition by Anna Ilsley, opening with a private view on December 1st, our second collaboration with Benjamin Parsons x Hannah Payne, Oxford.
The maternal body is a recurring motif in Anna Ilsley's work. Her painted bodies contain multitudes: they might be bursting with lusty warmth but they are also swamped with the weight of responsibility that comes with motherhood. Figures that could be children accompany many of these round-bellied women too – balancing on knees or riding on necks. The Suffolk-based painter is tapping into a subject with a long art historical trajectory; from the numerous portrayals of the maternal icon of the Virgin Mary to Alice Neel or Louise Bourgeois' frank depictions of motherhood’s messy realities, the figure of the mother has long held a fascination for artists, informed by the social, political and religious ideals of their times. Ilsley, with her acknowledgement of motherhood as replete with conflicting emotions and responsibilities, presents us with artistic takes on the topic that are explicitly contemporary.
Anna Ilsley (1982 UK) is an artist based in Suffolk, UK. She graduated from Royal Drawing School in 2010 and University of Brighton’s BA in Fine Art Painting in 2006. Recent exhibitions include Gutug at Asylum Studios, So Happy Together at Galleri Tom Christoffersen (2022), Crab Bisque at St Chad’s Projects (2022) and Lovers Lane at Oceans Apart (2021). She is Artist Associate at British School at Athens and has taken part in many Artist in Residence schemes, most recently at Newnham College, University of Cambridge (2019) for which she received an Arts Council Research and Development Award.
Anna Ilsley – Underbelly
02/12 – 22/12
Private view Friday December 1, 6-8pm
Benjamin Parsons x Hannah Payne
16 North Parade Ave
Oxford OX2 6LX
Open Tuesday - Friday 10-6pm + Saturday 10-4pm
Text - Helena Haimes
Studio photography - Doug Atfield
Exhibition photography - Damien Griffiths
Design - It's Art Studio