Focus on the Female : @ The Exhibitionist Hotel

Focus On The Female
Full Curation 

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Deborah Azzopardi acquired her worldwide fame for the joyous Pop Art images she has created over the past 35 years. Her unique and feminine take on contemporary art is best described by the esteemed art critic Estelle Lovatt: ‘America has Lichtenstein, we have Azzopardi!’ Lovatt goes on to comment: “Sometimes you just want to curl up under a blanket. With a good book. A piece of chocolate. A man. This is what Deborah Azzopardi’s pictures make me feel like doing. They are me. They remind me of the time I had a red convertible sports car. I had two, actually. And yes, they are you, too. You immediately, automatically, engage with the narrative of Azzopardi’s conversational visual humour. Laughter is the best aphrodisiac, as you know. ... There’s plenty of art historical references from... Manet’s suggestive ‘Olympia’; Boucher’s thought-provoking... ‘Louise O’Murphy’ and Fragonard’s frivolous, knickerless, ‘The Swing’.... Unique in approach, you easily recognise an Azzopardi picture. ... Working simple graphics and toned shading (for depth), the Pop Art line that Azzopardi sketches is different to Lichtenstein’s. Hers is more curvaceous. Feminine.

The world is familiar with Azzopardi’s artworks, as many of them have been published internationally. Her original paintings, such as the Habitat ‘Dating’ series (2004/08), the iconic ...One Lump Or Two? (2014) and Love Is The Answer (2016), created by the artist at the request of Mitch and Janis Winehouse as a tribute to their daughter, are in great demand.

Deborah Azzopardi is represented internationally by Cynthia Corbett Gallery.

Based in Toronto, Amanda McCavour is a Canadian artist who works with stitch to create large-scale embroidered installations. She holds a BFA from York University, where she studied drawing. In May 2014, she completed her MFA in Fibers and Material Studies at Tyler School of Art in Philadelphia, PA. From 2007 through 2010, McCavour was an Artist-in-Residence at Harbourfront Centre’s Craft & Design Studio. Her work has been exhibited in galleries nationally and internationally, with recent solo exhibitions in 2019 Pink Field, Blue Fog at the Art Gallery of Northumberland, Cobourg (ON); Consumed by Clouds at the Kootenay Gallery of Art, History and Science, Castlegar (BC); The Floating Garden at Workhouse Arts Centre, Lorton (VA); and Pink Field, Blue Fog at Washington Pavilion Visual Arts Center, Sioux Falls (SD). Upcoming projects for 2021 include new installations for Paige Court, Chazen Museum of Art, Madison (WI) and The Delaplaine Arts Center, Frederick (MD). She is also working towards a commission for Columbia Museum of Art, Columbia (SC) in 2022. McCavour has received numerous awards and scholarships from the Ontario Crafts Council, The Canada Council for the Arts, The Handweavers and Spinners Guild of America, The Ontario Society of Artists, The Surface Design Association, and The Embroiderers Guild of America.

In her work, McCavour uses a sewing machine to create thread drawings and large scale installations. By sewing into fabric that dissolves in water, she can build up stitched lines on a temporary surface. The crossing threads create strength so that when the fabric is dissolved, the thread drawing can hold together without a base. With only the thread remaining, these images appear as though they would be easily unraveled and seemingly on the verge of falling apart, despite the works ravelled strength. The artist is interested in thread's assumed vulnerability, its ability to unravel, and its strength when it is sewn together.

“Poppies” began as a commission of one-hundred flowers, hanging and photographed to commemorate 100 years from the end of the First World War. From these humble beginnings, this work expanded to hundreds of embroidered poppies hung upside down from the ceiling creating dream-like environment. The poppies are a keepsake, memory and a tender reminder of life, time and space.

In 2019 Amanda McCavour won the 2nd prize for the Young Masters Art Prize and the Young Masters Emerging Woman Artist Award.


Rebecca Harper was born in London in 1989, where she continues to live and work. She studied at UWE Bristol then The Royal Drawing School and Turps Art School (Postgraduate’s). Rebecca was Artist in Residence at The Santozium Museum, Santorini, in summer 2019, and Artist in Residence for the Ryder Project Space at A.P.T Studios, Deptford in 2018-19 before becoming a studio and committee Member in 2019.

Much of Rebecca Harper’s work has revealed itself through a Diasporic consciousness which can often involve a multiplicity of belonging and a sense of difference, often one of ‘otherness’ and displacement. The identity of the displaced positioning is a paradox between location and dislocation, out of place everywhere and not completely anywhere. Generally, the work frames expressions of ‘being’ and manifests itself within an unfolding, wondering, allegoric commentary on the locations that she inhabits and those which inhabit her.

Harper was winner of the ACS Studio Prize in 2018. Most recently Rebecca was selected for The John Moore’s Painting Prize 2021, and previously selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries in 2018 at South London Gallery, Other curated shows include Artsy, Huxley Parlour, Public Gallery, Royal Academy Summer Show, Christies London and NYC, Flowers Gallery, Paul Stolper Gallery, Turps Art Gallery and Arusha Gallery. Her work is on long term display in the Albright Collection at Maddox Street Club in London curated by Beth Greenacre and at the Santozeum Museum in Santorini. Harper is represented in many public and private collections internationally including the Ullens and the Royal Collections.

Rebecca Harper artwork is courtesy of Anima Mundi gallery.


Israel-born, New York-based Tami Bahat's portraiture is fuelled by a deep love for imperfect beauty and the belief that art is in everyone. As a conduit to other lifetimes, she constructs stories of the past through the people of her present-day life. Inspired by the Old Masters, the series Dramatis Personae exhibits her personal connection to history and a deep longing for times that no longer exist.

Most recently Bahat has had solo exhibitions in Los Angeles, Australia and Chicago, and her work has been shown in prominent photography events, including Fotofever Paris, Scope NY, The Photography Show (AIPAD), as well as the LA Art Show.

In 2019 Tami Bahat won the 2nd prize for the Young Masters Emerging Woman Artist Award.


Anne von Freyburg is a Dutch artist living and working in London. She received a Master degree in Fine Art from Goldsmiths University London in 2016 and holds a BA in Fashion Design from ArtEZ Arnhem, The Netherlands. In 2018-2019 von Freyburg was part of the Florence Trust Residency and the FT Summer show in London. Her work was awarded for the Art Gemini Prize London. Von Freyburg was shortlisted for the Sarabande Foundation Residency and the Jackson’s Painting prize in 2020. Previously she exhibited in galleries in Holland, Germany and Spain.

Anne von Freyburg’s practice rethinks textile and the decorative within the tradition of painting. It embraces and subverts the female gaze, the feminine and pretty. Historically, craft and decoration have been perceive as lesser than the “intellectual” fine arts. By combining them, von Freyburg challenges this underlying hierarchical system. Von Freyburg's recent work translates Old Masters paintings from the Rococo period into paintings constructed of a mixture of tapestry and contemporary fashion fabrics.

With these works von Freyburg attempts to raise questions about taste, femininity, high and low art and the constructs of female identity. Her work is a celebration of the sensual, textural and visual pleasures of materials and ornaments.

Von Freyburg’s work is in several private collections all over the world. Recently her work has been published in Art Scope magazine (US), Embroidery art magazine (UK, Textiel Plus magazine (NL), Art Verge, PAN and many others.


US-born Nicole Etienne’s masterfully painted mixed media compositions fly across the canvas, exploding with vibrancy and sensuality. With a background in painting and photography, Etienne travels extensively, shooting the many elaborate and romantic settings that inspire her. She then manipulates her photography, tweaking each image to create a mystical entry point from which to continue her process. Once an image is printed, on either glitter or natural canvas, the real transformation begins. With thickly applied paint and other materials including gold leaf, glitter, even Swarovski crystals, Etienne adds powerful movement and extreme opulence to her base image, creating an intimate, unexpected moment in an extraordinary environment where anything is possible and the only limit is the imagination. Captivating us with dizzying skill and beauty, Etienne grants her audience full permission to dwell, delight and enjoy the fruits, flora and fauna of her exquisite labor.

Nicole Etienne’s work is in numerous public and private collections. She earned her MFA from the New York Academy of Art and her BFA from the University of California Santa Cruz. Solo exhibitions of her work have been mounted in New York, Aspen, London, Dublin, Tokyo and Saint Barthélemy and she has been included in group shows and art fairs worldwide. Nicole Etienne currently resides in Henley-upon-Thames, having recently returned to the UK.


Eve De Haan is a young London-based artist of English and Mauritian heritage, with an incredible appetite for creativity. Her degree in Theology has informed and influenced her work, developing a strong body of installations which examine concepts of change and the imprint technology is having on youth culture.

She has exhibited in Europe and the U.S in iconic galleries such as the Saatchi gallery and the Museum of Neon in LA. She was recently invited to lead on an Instagram Live for Tate London. She has had billboards in London, created artwork for Nike & been featured in major publications.

Her creations are provocative and challenging. Through her love of the written word Eve finds neon the perfect medium to explore the gradients and shades of meaning within a statement.


London-based Kathryn Maple studied Printmaking at Brighton University and undertook a six month residency at The Muse Gallery on Portobello Road before completing The Drawing Year at The Prince’s Drawing School (now the Royal Drawing School) in 2013. Kathryn won the 2014 Sunday Times Watercolour Competition and has exhibited in the Jerwood Drawing Prize, Lynn Painter-Stainers Prize, at Christie's International for 'The Best of The Drawing Year 2012-13', and at the 'Betweenlands' exhibition hosted by Blain Southern in 2014. She lives and works in Erno Goldfinger’s iconic Balfron Tower, London, and is currently on the Royal Drawing School's International Teaching and Art Residency in India. The main focus of Maple's work has always been drawing. She acts as a hidden observer, using shape and line to paint those parts of the city where nature has been left to flourish and encroach on our concrete metropolis. Her work combines very fine detailing with areas of minimal working, the open spaces enabling the eye to focus on these marks.


Xu Yang (b. 1996, Shandong, China) graduated with 1st Class Honours in BA Painting at Wimbledon College of Arts (2018) and MA Painting at Royal College of Art (2018-20). Xu was the winner of Barbican Arts Group Trust ArtWorks Open 2019 followed by a solo exhibition “100 Carat Diamond”, BAGT ArtWorks Project Space (2020). Xu has been nominated for the Contemporary Young Artist (2020); The Signature Art Prize (2019) and received the Highly Commended Award at the Air Gallery Open (2019).
Recent group exhibitions include “Reframing the Looking Glass”, Cuturi Gallery, Singapore, “42 Is”, 42 Art Space, China, “Redirecting”, Tree Museum China (2021), “Softer Softest”, Andrea Festa Gallery (2021), “wintergreen Boxwood”, No 20 Arts (2020); “London Grads Now.” (the RCA selection), Saatchi Gallery (2020); “RCA Graduate Showcase”, Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery (2020); “Final Not Over”, Unit 1 Gallery (2020); “Little Originals”, Dock Street Studios (2019); “On the Mountain We Stay Residency End”, NoSpace Gallery (2019); “Open”, AIR Gallery (2019); Clyde & Co Art Award (2018) and Whitechapel Gallery First Thursday University Competition (2017). Xu was featured in Vogue Singapore, The Sunday Times, Elephant Magazine, ArtConnect, FAD Magazine, Exibart, Art She Says, Yngspc and many other publications.
Xu has contributed to collaborative art projects ‘Imaging Technologies’ With Painting Research at Wimbledon College of Arts at Tate Modern (2017) and ’Here she Comes’ with Monster Chetwynd at Royal Festival Hall (2016).


Cristina Schek is the photosensitive kind. She thinks in pictures; her imagination is always in focus. A Transylvanian living in London, she creates worlds she calls "myth places”; they exist, each in their own ways.

Far removed from traditional or documentary photography, the camera is merely a tool for Cristina. She enjoys the freedom of layering and manipulating her photographs into creative montages, trusting her instinct for matching the raw material with the suggestive imaginings of her subconscious.

Often whimsical and a touch romantic, her photographs are given subtle alterations in a digital process that often takes months, resulting in carefully constructed compositions, which reveal the influence of the great Surrealists and Old Masters.


In a contemporary art world that condemns beauty as camouflage for conceptual shallowness, championing high aesthetics is nothing short of rebellion. Dutch photographer Isabelle Van Zeijl takes female beauty ideals from the past, and sabotages them in the context of today. Van Zeijl aestheticises contemporary beauty in her work to visually discuss art historical links and a new way of seeing female beauty. Her work is both timeless, universal and uniquely placed in the art historical canon while offering the female gaze.

Van Zeijl is invested in her images. By using subjects that intrigue and evoke emotion, she reinvents herself over and over and has created a body of work to illustrate these autobiographical narratives. Her work takes from all she experiences in life - she is both model, creator, object and subject. Going beyond the realm of individual expression, so common in the genre of self-portraiture, she strives to be both universal and timeless, with a subtle political hint.

Isabelle Van Zeijl has shown work continuously and internationally over the past fifteen years, represented by galleries located in The UK, USA, The Netherlands, Belgium, and exhibiting at emerging and established international art fairs in New York, Miami, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, London, Germany, Belgium, Sweden and Italy. She was nominated for the Prix De La Photographie Paris, and The Fine Art Photography Awards. She was also one of the winners of The Young Masters Emerging Women Art Prize, London. Her work is held in private & public collections in the USA, UK, Belgium, Germany, France and The Netherlands.

Isabelle van Zeijl has been represented by Cynthia Corbett Gallery since 2017.


Rafaela de Ascanio (b.1986, lives and works in London) studied at Central Saint Martins (2004), The Courtauld Institute of Art (MA, 2010) and Turps Banana Painting Programme (2019). De Ascanio’s paintings and sculptures work in tandem, compiling layers of iconography and exchanging symbols to explore the female experience through differing processes. Her paintings have a tropical colour palette, attributed to her early years spent in the volcanic Canary Islands. She hand-builds clay into anatomical forms that are glazed with flowing circular narratives and fired to create enduring stone bodies. De Ascanio portrays the female in defiant guises, empowering both her and the viewer. Images emerge from autobiographical events, fantastical symbols from sci-fi film and literature, esoteric pagan practices, and ‘fire and brimstone’ altarpieces. Disrupting the patriarchal narratives propagated throughout art history, she revisualises the female as the protagonist and leader, with sexual ownership, and psychological resilience.

Her solo exhibition Universal Yearnings opened at Liliya Art Gallery in May 2021. Other important exhibitions include Back to Back, Bowes Parris Gallery, (2021), Domesticity and the Feminine, curated by Josephine May Bailey (2021), Inside I Outside, Janet Rady Fine Art, Monster/Beauty: An Exploration of the Female/Femme Gaze, Lychee One, London (2020); Paintings On, And With Paper, Cob Gallery, London (2020); Clay Today: A Showcase Of Ceramics In Isolation, Cynthia Corbett Gallery (2020); A Room of One’s Own, The Koppel Project, London (2019).


Klari Reis uses the tools and techniques of science in her creative process, constantly experimenting with new ways to apply materials and methods. She is driven by curiosity and her desire to explore and document the natural and unnatural with a sense of wonder and joy. Formally trained as an architect, the artist from her base in San Francisco (in proximity to one of the largest concentrations of life science/technology companies in the world) collaborates with local biomedical companies and is inspired by the cutting edge of biological techniques and discoveries.

The unifying theme of Klari Reis’s art is her mastery of a new media plastic, epoxy polymer, and the fine control she brings to its reactions with a variety of dyes and pigments. Her compositions display brightly coloured smears, bumps and blobs atop aluminum and wood panels. A skilled technician with a studio for a laboratory, Reis uses science in the service of her art.

Klari Reis's work has been exhibited worldwide and public collections include Microsoft Research in Cambridge, UK; Next World Capital’s offices in San Francisco, Paris, and Brussels; MEG Diagnostic Centre for Autistic Children in Oxford, UK; Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London; the Stanford University Medical Center Hoover Pavilion in California; and Elan Pharmaceuticals, Genentech, Acetelion and Cytokinetics in South San Francisco.

Klari Reis is represented internationally by Cynthia Corbett Gallery.


Emilie Taylor was born in 1980 in Sheffield, where she now lives and works. Her large scale ceramics use heritage craft processes, particularly traditional slipware, to interpret and represent post-industrial landscapes. Emilie is interested in the pot as container and metaphor for how we seek to contain different communities within society. Beyond the studio she works with the communities represented in her work, and through interdisciplinary projects hopes to apply the alchemical quality of ceramics in a socially engaged context. Emilie has completed residencies in the UK and abroad, and has exhibited at Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Ruthin Craft Centre, Gallery Oldham and the Arts & Crafts House Blackwell. Her most recent solo exhibition (May Day, May Day, May Day) at Rugby Art Gallery and Museum concludes 11th of July 2021. Her work forms part of public and private collections.

Emilie Taylor is an alumna of Young Masters Art Prize.


Jill Berelowitz was born in 1955 in Johannesburg, South Africa. She developed her passion for art at a very young age and studied from the age of 12 under renowned Finnish artist Karen Jarozynska and then at Johannesburg School of Art. After graduating she set up her own studio in Durban and worked and taught there until moving to London in 1985.

In London Berelowitz has established herself as one of the City’s most innovative and prominent sculptures. She has monumental works installed outside Charing Cross Hospital and at Henley-on-Thames, and has been commissioned to make the Investec Challenge rugby trophy plus works for the Goldsmith’s Guild, Unilever and Old Mutual. She has been exhibited at Sotheby’s and Christie’s as well as the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, Heathrow Terminal 5 and on Cork Street for Rado and Elizabeth Arden. Other exciting projects also include commissions for Westminster Council’s ‘City of Sculpture’ programme and for the entrance to the London 2012 Olympic Village.

Berelowitz’s work finds its ultimate synthesis in new works – two female shapes. Gaia and Aphrodite are a joyous celebration of life, change and for the endless potential of humanity, as is the case with all of Berelowitz’s work. The exposed surface reveals the inner self and beauty of the female form highlighted by the protective textured surface while the highly polished female torso enhances the magnificence of the human body's beauty, sensuality and inner spiritual illumination.

Jill Berelowitz is Judge and Patron of the Young Masters Art Prize.


Polina Filippova is an artist from Moscow, working across video-related mediums, performance and painting. She recently graduated from the Royal College of Art, where she studied moving image and experiential art.

Her work is mainly introspective. She explores relationships between body and space in their various domains, from tactile to virtual, with a particular interest in the ways we connect to each other and ourselves and the role our physicality plays in it.

Almost There” is a series of interactive self-portraits that I made while being in a long-distance relationship during the lockdown. It’s an accurate, almost documental representation of the space of missing, where time gets distorted, a room becomes an extension of one’s body, and the reality feels as compressed as one’s own image transmitted somewhere far away in a digital form.

The portraits are digital paintings; matte screens with slow videos, installed in the wooden boxes, reminiscent of frames. They are not too big to convey an intimate relationship with a view one gets in a video call. The videos are blurred, as was my image of self. They are quiet. Almost nothing happens within them, but time passes.

The medium and the genre refer to a classical portrait and a long tradition of female self-portraiture, often painted in a home environment, where women both lived and worked, quite as we do now.

The portraits are interactive. They react to a viewer moving closer, acknowledging her presence by a subtle movement. It’s a hint of connection that never really quite happens, much as when we connect digitally. The interaction is randomised, an algorithm that controls the movement. At times there might be no reaction at all. Both the viewer and the character in the portrait are neither totally free nor entirely dependent on each other.