Dora Carrington, Iris Tree on a Horse, c.1920s © The Estate of Dora Carrington

23 September 2023 – 14 January 2024


A Spirit Inside brings together work of a selection of women artists from The Ingram Collection and The Women’s Art Collection in Cambridge, to showcase artworks that have been borne out of a strength of spirit and touch upon the elemental, fantastical, spiritual and political.

The exhibition takes a talismanic artwork by Dora Carrington as its starting point. Iris Tree on a Horse was an early addition to the Ingram Collection and has the artist’s friend as its protagonist, portrayed as a knight forging ahead into the distance, speaking to female resilience and rebellion. The title for the exhibition is lifted from a letter written by Carrington explaining why she chose not to marry at that time. For Carrington, to do so would diminish ‘a spirit inside’. It was this impulse that ensured her life was led without convention and compromise. A Spirit Inside is explored through the work of artists such as Leonora Carrington, Lubaina Himid and Paula Rego and reveals the myriad ways in which artists from the twentieth century to the present day use subject matter, technique, scale and material to contain and express their spirit inside.

The Women’s Art Collection is Europe’s largest collection of art by women. Founded in 1992 to inspire the student body, the Collection includes 600 works by leading artists. The Collection is displayed across Murray Edwards College, one of the two colleges for women at the University of Cambridge. The exhibition at The Lightbox is the first time The Women’s Art Collection has partnered with a museum to present works from the collection.

Associated Talk: Rebel Spirits - Soheila Sokhanvari and Hilary Floe In Conversation, on Wednesday 22 November at 7pm

£9.50 Day Pass | Lightbox Members and Under 18s Free
Supported by Henry Moore Foundation