Cornerhouse Projects: Gemma Parker & Layla Sailor

Working with transgender muse Grace Oni Smith, artist Gemma Parker presents a new portrait inspired by the asthetic of Pre-Raphaelite artist Dante Gabriel Rossetti. Rossetti’s hyper-sensual paintings of women with strong, prominent features contested the diminutive and fragile vision of femininity idealised by the Victorians. In a series of chalk studies and a subsequent final portrait, Parker and Smith follow Rossetti’s example to champion an empowered, contemporary woman.

Layla Sailor presents images from her continuing Kokoshnik series, which explores traditional crafts, religious iconography and subverted female imagery. Initially beginning as experiments with pattern design, the portraits have developed into a celebration of the beauty of iconography. They also open a dialogue about the use of strong female imagery in politics and religion, and the reaction this can provoke. Some of Layla’s work has been used in protest posters for Pussy Riot and Artists Support Ukraine, successfully communicating political messages worldwide.

All work is for sale, please speak to Box Office staff for information.

Join us for the informal launch of the new exhibition in the bar, from 18:00 –19:00 on Thu 31 July.

Cornerhouse Projects is supported by Outstanding Brewery.