‘Opening Matters’, 2020

View of ‘Opening Matters’, with works by Alexandra Harley, Gillian Brent and Sheila Vollmer. Photo: Peter Griffiths

‘Opening Matters’, the first TSM exhibition was a pop-up show, held at Unit 3, ASC Studios, Bow, London in January 2020.

The artists had already shown together at Unit 3 as part of ‘Testing 123’ in May 2019, an annual show of small works organised and curated by John Bunker. In previous years John had invited Alexandra Harley to show in this series of exhibitions exploring abstraction, and then asked her to invite other sculptors to be part of the 2018 and 2019 iterations.

In 2019 Gillian Brent, Sheila Vollmer and Jill Gibson were the sculptors that Alexandra invited. This was the catalyst for the artists to set up TSM and arrange to show together at this, their inaugural show.

Before the pop-up exhibition opened, the artists recorded conversations about their work, processes and methods and how changes in arts education, the art world, technology and opportunities over their careers have impacted on their working lives as women artists. You can listen to recordings of these conversations or read the transcripts here.