Parallel Lives looks at the careers and experiences of eight women artists, all born within twenty years of each other and whose lives spanned the twentieth century: Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, Prunella Clough, Ithell Colquhoun, Evelyn Dunbar, Gertrude Hermes, Barbara Jones, Enid Marx and Monica Poole. Their work covers a range of media: sculpture, painting, printmaking, textile design and book illustration. Stylistically diverse, they drew selectively on contemporary art movements with some at the forefront of developments within their artistic fields including neo-romanticism, realism, surrealism, folk art and abstraction. Each was an original and innovative creative force, who built a career on their own terms and developed a significant and enduring
body of work.
Parallel Lives follows their successes while considering the challenges they faced, noting the moments when their lives and experiences overlapped or corresponded. As a group they are characterised by an independent outlook and a willingness to pursue a singular artistic vision, often in defiance of prevailing fashions and influences.
About the authors:
Gill Clarke is a writer and former academic. She has curated art exhibitions at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery, Burgh House, Hampstead Museum, Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum and Pallant House Gallery. Her books include Evelyn Dunbar: War and Country; Shorelines: Artists on the South Coast; Randolph Schwabe: A Life in Art; Conflicting Views: Pacifist Artists; she contributed to Barnett Freedman: Designs for Modern Britain.
Steve Marshall is former Director of St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery. He curated ‘The Artists Rifles’ (2014) and ‘Capture the Castle’ (2016) for Southampton Art Gallery and ‘Infinite Beauty’ (2022) for Hampshire Cultural Trust. With Gill Clarke he has co-authored Shorelines: Artists on the South Coast (2015), The Seasons: Art of the Unfolding Year (2020) and, with Robert Macfarlane, Unsettling Landscapes: The Art of the Eerie (2021), all to accompany exhibitions at St Barbe Museum and Art Gallery.