Birmingham Artist Sarah Taylor Silverwood has a new exhibition at the New Art Gallery Walsall that is definitely worth checking out if you are a fan of the Garman Ryan Collection. The Garman Ryan Collection which contains priceless pieces of art from the likes of Jacob Epstein, Lucien Freud, Modigliani and Rossetti amongst others, was gifted to the town of Walsall in 1973 by Kathleen Garman, who was the widow of Jacob Epstein, and 2020 sees the 20th anniversary of the building of the New Walsall Art Gallery as a fitting home for this collection.
Sarah Taylor Silverwood’s new exhibition, which is on show until 7th June, is the Kathleen and Sally series, and celebrates the two extraordinary women behind the Garman Ryan collection – Kathleen Garman and Sally Ryan. The Kathleen and Sally series is a set of drawings of the two women that have been superimposed over women’s magazine covers and articles from the 1940s-1970s that have been altered to give a new slant on the way that women were viewed during this time in terms of feminine beauty and expected lifestyle. Kathleen and Sally lived their lives outside the expected norms and the art works show echo this, placing the women side by side with what was considered the norm, but then subverting that norm too.
I personally love the prints, the idea behind them, and the choice of words and drawings that have been used to overlap the magazine covers. I think it corresponds so neatly with the actual Garman Ryan collection which is currently on display in the Gallery on floors one and two – particularly its celebration of key woman – Epstein’s daughters Esther and Kitty, Kathleen from the 1920’s to 50’s, and then the likes of Elizabeth Siddell in the work of Rossetti, with the Sarah Taylor Silverwood collection celebrating the extraordinary women who put the collection together.
Sarah Taylor Silverwood
Kathleen and Sally Series
Until June 7th 2020
New Walsall Art Gallery.