Women’s History Month Exhibition: Beyond the Muse

Text: Beyond A Muse. University of Reading Library. March 14th - 20th.

On display in the library foyer from 14 to 20 March. The exhibition was put together by a group of women artists from the Reading School of Art restoring and reclaiming the concept of ‘the muse’. 

Each artist has made a body of work touching on their experiences and interests; these range from the sculptural to the two-dimensional. From this, ‘women’ evolve from a spectacle to be looked at, to artists creating work within their own right, their own passions, their own interests. 

In honour of Women’s History Month, curators Avigayil Ashton, Eden Castillo, and Fajar Kayani organised an exhibition to uplift and empower women artists at the University of Reading.

Reminiscing on their personal experiences as women artists, they felt it was integral to lead an exhibition which would highlight and celebrate the work of other female creators. With women making just 1% of the London National Gallery’s collection, this exhibition demonstrates the drive, passion and accomplishments of women artists, whom are just as capable of taking up space within these collections as their male counterparts.

“Exhibitions like this are invaluable, showcasing the talents, inspirations and capabilities of women. Particularly, as historically, their recognition has been as predominantly a ‘muse. Hence the title ‘beyond a muse’ we hoped to investigate the presence of these women within the art space beyond this label and demonstrate their rightful place as an equal contributor to the art space.
– Avigayil (Curator)

“As female artists it was such a pleasure to put together an exhibition showcasing our fellow women artist at such a beautiful building we all use. We couldn’t have done it without the talented artists at the university. It’s been such an amazing experience being able to create a show for women’s history month highlighting incredible art. We are so grateful for the opportunity and appreciation of the university and the library to be able to create a show for such an important event. We would like to say a massive thank you to the library for giving us the space and letting us create such a wonderful exhibition.” – Fajar and Eden (Curators)

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