An exhibition of work by female artists, as part of ‘Art in the Age of Now’ Fulham Town Hall 20 May – 6 June 2021
Female Rooms is an exhibition taking place at Fulham Town Hall this Spring, featuring work by: Holly Allan; Pauline Amos; Kiera Bennett; Dana Berber; Elodie Carrel; Arietta Chandris; Catherine Eldridge; Abigail Fallis; Nancy Fouts; Anna Kenneally; Lily Lewis; Bip Ling; Jil Mandeng; Marion Mandeng; Sarah Maple; Tuesday Riddell; Savannah Macmillan; Jessica St. James; Chloe Karayiannis; Nettie Wakefield. As part of ‘Art in the Age of Now’, Female Rooms has been curated by MC Llamas to bring together new work by contemporary female artists, presenting the different faces of femininity – from the strong or vulnerable to themes of sexuality, mystery or whimsy – without objectification. From Nettie Wakefield’s eerie reverse portraits to Abigail Fallis’ enormous bananas, the pieces oscillate between the humorous and the esoteric.
Tuesday Riddel’s intricate Japanning panel opens us to a guided dream world from which Nancy Fouts’ Red Hiding Hood erupts – the works have conversations and make light of each other’s secrets. Spanning three rooms in the vast space of Fulham’s old Town Hall – the iconic, deserted 51,000 sq ft Victorian building in West London – Female Rooms moves through several key themes. In the first, eerie and mysterious works include Nettie Wakefield’s sharply drawn reverse portraits of the back of women’s heads, Jil Mandeng’s collaged family portrait reflecting on blurred childhood memories, and the late Nancy Fouts’ “Little Red Riding Hood” – charmingly dark as it references both a young girl taken from a childhood bedtime story and the very dark aesthetic of the pointed hoods of the Ku-Klux Clan. Tuesday Riddel’s highly lacquered small painting of a fantasy forest scene bring in the detailed insects to take part in a modern tale.
Fun in its femineity, the centrepiece in the second room is a large stack of bananas made specifically for the room by Abigail Fallis – referencing Andy Warhol and Maurizio Cattelan whilst at the time offering a sarcastic take on the womanhood and authority. Edie Baker’s works are inspired by pin up magazines, where she paints, collages and weaves into the images, creating a dialogue with the subject and elevating the images by creating a strong narrative around them. In the third room a series of collaborative works between Pauline Amos and MC Llamas will be presented – a collection of new timed paintings, where the artists swapped works every 30 seconds, constantly adding to each other’s marks.
‘Art in the Age of Now’ will be the first time the Fulham Town Hall has been open in 10 years, and is a project overseen by curator Ben Moore (Art Below). Co-presented by Lamington Group ‘Art in the Age of Now’ is a free event in support of London’s local artistic community and features an extraordinary programme of installations, guest exhibitions, live performance art, music, talks, readings and screenings in the atmospheric setting of Fulham Town Hall, before it undergoes major renovations and enters a new lease of life as a creative, community hub and boutique hotel in 2022.
Many of the landmark building’s beautiful original fittings are preserved and will remain so in its future life as a hotel and entertainment space. The elegant architecture and decorative features include green marble columns, stained-glass roof lights, wrought iron balustrades, and art deco lighting. Visible deterioration adds to the character and its beauty seeps through cracks of decay and peeling wallpaper. Built in 1890, it features a beautiful grand ballroom, a courtroom in the round with original stained-glass windows and tiered seating, civil registration and function rooms and each area will be taken over by some of London’s most exciting established and upcoming contemporary artists. The cells in the building’s basement vault beneath the court room, complete with the original bars from their time as holding chambers, will be transformed into mini art spaces for emerging talent.