Women artists explore the "spirit inside" at Compton Verney - The Leamington Observer

Women artists explore the "spirit inside" at Compton Verney

AN EXHIBITION focusing on how women artists have grappled with the notion and sense of ‘spirit’ will open at Compton Verney this Spring.

A Spirit Inside brings together two leading art collections – The Women’s Art Collection, which with 600 works is the largest collection of works by women artists in Europe, and The Ingram Collection, one of Britain’s leading public collections.

The exhibition will feature artists such as Dora Carrington, Paula Rego, Bridget Riley and Leonora Carrington, spanning 100 years and a diversity of mediums including sculpture, paintings, film and collages.

This is a new version of the show which was originally shown at the Lightbox in autumn 2023. Now, as part of Compton Verney´s 20-year anniversary celebrations, the exhibition will be spread across several galleries and include additional artists such as sculptor Dame Elisabeth Frink, figurative painter Eileen Cooper OBE, and American portraitist Cindy Sherman, amongst many other women artists.




The genesis of the exhibition stems from a 1920 letter that Dora Carrington wrote to a friend, neatly explaining her reluctance to marry at that time. She wrote: “To marry him would not make it any better, because one cannot change a spirit inside one.”

At Compton Verney, 32 works will explore in detail how women artists explored the act of belief, the influence of mythology, an interest in talismanic objects, and the relationship between politics and performance.


Compton Verney CEO Geraldine Collinge said: “From the work of Dora Carrington and Elizabeth Frink to Paula Rego and Cindy Sherman, this exhibition brings together two extraordinary collections and invites audiences to explore work by some of the most significant artists of the 20th century to the present day.

“We are delighted to work with both The Ingram Collection and Women’s Art Collection to create a stunning exhibition, which has been a lesson in the sheer breadth of scale, ambition, technique and material that women use to make artwork. We cannot wait for visitors of all ages to explore and enjoy the show.”

A Spirit Inside runs at Compton Verney from March 21 to September 1.

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