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Tate St Ives | Nashashibi/Skaer

Travel to Gauguin's Tahiti and beyond through the work of two leading British artists.

Until 6th Jan 2019
Tate St Ives

This exhibition combines films made by Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer with their personal selection of historic and contemporary art that reflects on and adds new meaning to their work.

Alongside their individual practices, British artists Rosalind Nashashibi and Lucy Skaer have been collaborating as Nashashibi/Skaer since 2005. Their artworks – mostly made using 16mm film – explore a range of ideas through art, artists, people and places.

Nashashibi/Skaer have treated the process of exhibition-making as if they were creating an artwork. Each of their five films on display becomes a starting point to explore key ideas that resonate across the exhibition, from the portrayal of women and the representation of global cultures to issues around political conflict.

Featured artists include Paul Gauguin, Henri Matisse, Paul Nash, Pierre Bonnard, Louise Bourgeois, Jo Spence, Lee Miller, Gauri Gill and Rossella Biscotti.

Taking its title from a painting by the artist Paul Gauguin, the film Why Are You Angry? 2017 explores his depictions of Tahitian women and retraces Gauguin’s travels to Tahiti. By imitating Gauguin’s gaze, but stripping away the myth of the artist and using film instead of paint, Nashashibi/Skaer call into question his representations of women.

The exhibition also shows Ambassador 2005 – the first artwork Nashashibi/Skaer made together; Flash in the Metropolitan 2006 – made in the world-famous museum at night; Pygmalion Event 2008 – bringing the late work of Henri Matisse to life; and Our Magnolia 2009 – a film that reimagines Paul Nash’s Flight of the Magnolia 1944.


Rosalind Nashashibi (b.1973, United Kingdom) is a London-based artist working primarily in film, painting and printmaking. Her films use the camera as an eye to convey moments and events, merging everyday observations with fantastical and mythological elements. Nashashibi represented Scotland in the 52nd Venice Biennale, and her work has been included in Manifesta 7, the Nordic Triennial, Sharjah 10 and Documenta 14. She was the first woman to win the Beck’s Futures prize in 2003 and was nominated for the Turner Prize in 2017. She is currently Senior Lecturer in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University.

Lucy Skaer (b.1975, United Kingdom) is an artist based in Glasgow and London. Her sculptures, films, paintings and drawings often take found photographic sources as their starting point. Rooted in reality, yet subjected to a process of elaborate transformation, her images hover in the space between recognition and ambiguity, figuration and abstraction. Skaer exhibited at the first Scottish presentation at the Venice Biennale, where she also presented in 2007. She was nominated for both the 2003 Beck’s Futures prize and the 2009 Turner Prize, and has exhibited internationally. In addition to the Nashashibi/Skaer collaboration, Skaer is a founding member of Henry VIII’s Wives artist collective.