Underneath: curated by ArtLeadHER

March 24, 2017


A visually poetic journey through the eyes of the international woman Featuring 11 female artists from across the globe

Exclusively curated by ArtLeadHER for Lawrence Alkin Gallery

Exhibition dates: 7 April – 6 May 2017

Private View and Press Preview: 6 April 2017

Exhibiting artists include: Swoon, Kit King, Ingrid Baars, Delphine Diallo, Elizabeth Waggett, Meredith Marsone, Lucy Sparrow, Zoe Grace, Teresa Duck, Abi Whitlock and Juliette Clovis.

The gallery presents upcoming group show Underneath, exclusively curated by ArtLeadHER, an organisation dedicated to empowering and celebrating women in art. It features work from eleven international, contemporary female artists at various stages of their careers, highlighting the contributions and dispositions of working female artists in the modern market.

ArtLeadHER has cherry-picked a selection of new and recent works by artists communicating the multitudinous forms of female perspective. Themes of struggle and pain, softness, and a near-constant grappling with visible and invisible power structures are revealed. Underneath demonstrates every woman's journey, lending feeling and understanding to the dynamics and dimensions of feminine energy. 


The 15 works range in scale, media, and approach, and include figurative and abstract portraiture, sculpture, photography, and street art. Underneath is a celebration of women, providing a platform for acknowledgment and appreciation.

ArtLeadHER founder, Mashonda Tifrere launched the platform in March 2016 as a dynamic way to showcase, celebrate and bring awareness to the women creating, curating and thriving in the male-dominated art world. She explains:

“After collecting art for 15 years, my enthusiasm for bringing women's work into the forefront of the art world became a priority. The development of ArtLeadHER over the last year has provided female artists with a safe haven to be completely expressive in an open environment and gain the recognition they deserve.”

The London show draws attention to the array of techniques used by artists and various influences from different cultures and experiences. From Ingrid Baars’s unique style of photographic manipulation, to Zoe Grace’s uplifting neon pieces, sources of inspiration are diverse and often deeply personal. Whether a proud acknowledgement of rich, African heritage, to more turbulent experiences with issues such as depression, drug addiction and homelessness, each piece tells a story about its creator.

Sam Rhodes,  says:


“Our gallery roster has always heavily featured female artists, helping champion individuals for their unconventional style and practice and gaining recognition where it’s due. Unfortunately, still to this day, the art world appears skewed towards male artists, so when the opportunity arose for us to collaborate on a showcase of women artists, it signified the realization of an exhibition we’ve long wanted to host.

The collaboration with ArtleadHER provides the perfect opportunity to emphasize the importance of equal and fair opportunities – male, female, internationally recognized or just starting out. The show brings together great talents from across the world, uniting cultures at a time of division and celebrating beauty in humanity.”


Rhodes Contemporary Art and ArtleadHER are also hosting a panel on ‘Gender Bias and the Art World’ on Friday 7 April at The Hospital Club, Covent Garden. The panel moderator is Susan Mumford, Founder and CEO of the Association of Women Art Dealers. The discussion will put a spotlight on how gender role stereotypes affect the way individuals perceive artwork when created by male or female artists.


“I know an artist who changed name from female to non-gendered, and the result was astonishing: her sales grew overnight by 30% and she immediately saw an increase in acceptance to competitions. The forthcoming panel discussion in conjunction with ArtLeadHER’s inaugural London exhibition explores enduring gender bias in the viewing of art, and what women-only and gender-conscious initiatives can do to address it head on.” 


UNDERNEATH runs from Friday 7 April to Saturday 6 May at 42 New Compton Street, London, WC2H 8DA www.rhodescontemporaryart.com 


Notes to Editors

About the artists

Abi Whitlock’s work focuses predominately on the human form and how the mind and body are affected when immersed in water. This is mirrored by the way light is refracted and reflected, distorting and enhancing colour and shape. She tries to capture the way entering the water enables the swimmer to enter an altered state of mind; a form of escapism from the real world.

Delphine Diallo is a French and Senegalese photographer based in New York City. In 1999, Delphine graduated from the Académie Charpentier School of Visual Art in Paris. In 2008, she moved to New York to pursue a career as a fine artist and quickly developed a style that juxtaposes reality with imaginary consciousness, fashion with documentary, and tradition with modernity.

Elizabeth Waggett is a British Artist and Designer currently residing and maintaining full time studio practice in New York City. Eminently modern and free spirited Elizabeth's artwork focuses on the confusion of today's modern society.  She challenges the viewer to confront the relationship between humanity’s preconceived notions of value and worth, in our consumable world.

Juliette Clovis is a multidisciplinary french contemporary artist. Her plastic work is organized around 3 big topics that are the links between human and nature, the opposition between life and death and the dialogue between tradition and modernity.

Kit King produces hyperrealistic oil portraits exploring identity, dimension, and the ephemerality of visual relationships under the aegis of a heightened sense of reality. Recent bodies of work have focused on light and shadow, and how these can alter the viewer-subject relationship.

Felt artist Lucy Sparrow has quickly become recognised as one of the most exciting and original artists working in the UK today. Her practice is quirky yet subversive, luring the audience in with her soft, tactile, colourful felt creations before hitting them hard with her comment on subjects from the demise of the traditional high street to censorship in pornography.

Meredith Marsone’s portraits evoke dream worlds; the subjects may be surrounded by butterflies or swallows, or with birds perched on their shoulders. In her latest series, fragments of figures emerge from colorful smears of abstraction.

Ingrid Baars’ unique style of photo manipulation merges photography, high-­end fashion and traditional African sculpture. Using photographic software, Baars manipulates the light, texture and balance of her images to portray evocative scenes of female sensuality. She was trained at the Willem de Kooning Academy in Rotterdam and received the 1997 Illustration of the Year Award and the 2008 award for photography from the Art Directors Club Netherlands. In 2007, a monograph was published featuring a selection of her work from 2000 to 2007.

Swoon is a noted street artist who has contributed to the Pop Art movement. She was born in New London, CT, and raised in Daytona Beach, FL. The artist’s real name is Caledonia Dance Curry. In 1997, Swoon moved to New York, where she obtained a BA in Fine Arts from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. One of her most recognized pieces is called Anthropocene Extinction.

Teresa Duck is an artist living and working in Newcastle. Her work combines formal realist painting with abstract elements alongside working with sculpture and assemblage through which she explores ideas of identity, culture and philosophical concepts.

Zoe Grace defines herself as an opportunistic artist, finding street signs and modifying them to contain statements intended to spread messages of hope and positivity. This theme continues into her exhibited 3D neon and light pieces, which are owned by a number of celebrities including Johnny Lee Miller, Sadie Frost, Liam Gallagher and Daisy Lowe. London-based, Zoe was recently commissioned to create several installation pieces for the iTunes Music Festival in LA.

About ArtLeadHER

Art LeadHER is a platform dedicated to celebrating women in the art world and encouraging young women pursuing careers in the visual arts through events and arts education. Art LeadHER encourages camaraderie among female art connoisseurs, buyers and collectors. By pairing underexposed female artists with their established contemporaries, artists are given the opportunity to learn, collaborate and grow.

About Rhodes Contemporary Art

Rhodes Contemporary Art is an independently run, commercial art gallery located in the centre of London. The gallery’s aim is to develop the next generation of artists through exciting and different exhibitions, events and exclusive publications. Featuring contemporary, urban, street and pop art, the gallery embraces visually engaging exhibitions from a hybrid of artistic disciplines.