A special arts project is set to explore the representation of women in our changing world as it focuses on the latest exhibition opening at The Bowes Museum this month.

blimey! Lucretia will focus on the centrepiece of The Power and the Virtue: Guido Reni’s Death of Lucretia exhibition at The Bowes Museum, which opens on Saturday 26 October.

Funded by Arts Council England and supported by Creative Darlington and The Bowes Museum, the project has been devised by blimey! a female-led Darlington-based artist collective who work across a diverse range of creative practices.

The artists include Carol Sommer, Amanda Marshall, Nicola Golightly and Vicky Holbrough and the collective acts as a catalyst for artist-led activities to bring people together to celebrate contemporary visual arts in the region.

Working in partnership with the museum and Creative Darlington on a series of communal gatherings and events, “blimey! Lucretia” will explore ideas about the painting. Paying homage to Judy Chicago’s 20th century seminal feminist work “The Dinner Party”, “blimey! Lucretia” will offer people a seat at Lucretia’s table, to spark conversations about the representation of women in our changing world.

“blimey! Lucretia” will also collaborate with a contemporary dance project by Eliot Smith, a themed life drawing session with Lust for Life Drawing, a North East based feminist group, local further education colleges including Queen Elizabeth 6th Form College and Northern School of Art and regional artist networks among others.

The public events programme will take place in various venues, including The Bowes Museum and Crown Street Gallery in Darlington, between January and May next year.

Speaking about the project, Vicky Holbrough, blimey! artist said:

“This gives blimey! an opportunity to explore collaborative practice and the development of the collective. The support from partners will enable us to engage with diverse audiences and acknowledge those involved as co-creators of the works to be exhibited next year.”

Adrian Jenkins, The Bowes Museum Director said:

“The collaboration with blimey! is an exciting prospect for The Bowes Museum exploring themes such as feminism, identity and sexuality through new work created by the female led Darlington based artist collective. Their interaction with visitors, inspired by Guido Reni’s ‘Death of Lucretia’, we hope will draw in new audiences to the Bowes.”

Stephen Wiper, Creative Darlington Manager added:

“We’re delighted to be supporting blimey!’s Lucretia project. It’s great that they’re working with The Bowes Museum and fantastic to see a female-led artists collective creatively exploring current concerns, sharing their practice here and co-ordinating activity in which people can get involved.”

Those taking part in the project will be invited to make new work with the blimey! collective, by sewing directly onto a miniature textile image of Lucretia. How will we interpret Lucretia in the post #metoo era, considering gender, memes, myth, power, villainy and virtue?

Outcomes of the project will inform the creation of an artist zine, project film, artist talks and a symposium event and new work will be shown alongside The Death of Lucretia, in a “blimey! Lucretia” exhibition at The Bowes Museum in March 2020.

For more information visit www.blimeycollective.co.uk or follow them on Facebook.