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Midwich Cuckoo female artist duo's show opens – 'In Bed With The Girls' at Beverley Knowles Fine Art, Notting Hill, ends 1.11.08

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Artist duo 'The Girls' first solo show has opened at the UK’s only art space to exclusively champion contemporary British women artists, bubblegum pink gallery Beverley Knowles Fine Art, Notting Hill, West London. The show focuses on self-portraits from 1996 – 2008.

The Girls are Andrea Blood and Zoë Sinclair, both 32, whose collaboration began 12 years ago while at Central Saint Martins. Several years into their partnership, Blood and Sinclair were finishing each others sentences like Wyndham's Midwich Cuckoos; wearing matching pink outfits; and winning a string of awards for their surreal, very English work. After a 7 year hiatus, the award-winning duo are once again collaborating.

The Girls work consists of staged portraiture photography, including self portraiture, and performance pieces (see www.thegirls.co.uk for details of their performances at the gallery during the show's run). Themes explored in the show include Englishness, sibling relationships, childhood, gender, women's relationship with food, eroticism, and the art of drag. The Girls work has been compared to Gilbert & George, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall.

The Girls have previously exhibited in group shows at the National Portrait Gallery, the ICA, The Photographers’ Gallery, and the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. Diva Magazine featured them as 'ones to watch' earlier this year, describing their work as 'Magical, nostalgic and amusing'. The duo have also been published in The Observer, The Guardian and Creative Review magazine.

Cult periodical Amelia's Magazine said of the show 'Colourful and playful with a rumbling of darkness ensures childhood naivity is undercut by a dramatic and slightly haunted adult perspective. An exhibition which ensures you’ll leave slightly flustered - One not to miss.'

Author Herbert Wright recommended the show in London le cool magazine: 'Food guilt...it’s a girl thing! Nosh figures big with Andrea Blood and Zoe Sinclair, two ex-St Martins girls who launched this lavish, colourful show with a vicar blessing pastries on a naked woman. Those have since been scoffed but there’s a fantastic selection of works left, often sensual and twisty, like the mermaid in 'Friday' gorging on fish'n'chips. Blood and Sinclair once gave art therapy in mental asylums, and in self-portraits they become Myra Hindley & Barbara Cartland. They dress as nurses or baroque courtesans, they pose in big photos staged like Jeff Wall pieces, but sillier. Their Photostory about the Cinderella slipper is a laugh. Life-size straw dolls in bed explore female relationships. Get into their mental bed and indulge in a strange, funny, guilty visual feast.'

Gallery owner Beverley Knowles commented on The Girls work 'The Garden Party': "This male fantasy of sensory pleasure and power dynamics, is acted out self-reflectively by The Girls, thereby turning the archetypal gender roles on their heads, as the female becomes at once both subject and object. By investigating these timeless topics so fundamental to the human experience with satire and irony, The Girls show a conscious engagement with their own and our controlling archetypes and so step onto the path trodden by great artists throughout history, from Hieronymus Bosch to Judy Chicago and Sarah Lucas."

'In Bed With The Girls' is now on until Saturday 1 November 2008. The gallery is open Tuesday to Saturday 11am – 6pm. Beverley Knowles Fine Art, 88 Bevington Road, London, W10 5TW. The nearest tube is Ladbroke Grove. Telephone 020 8969 0800. www.beverleyknowles.com

ENDS

Private view photographs here. The private view was sponsored by Snow Queen Vodka.

NOTES TO EDITORS

ABOUT THE GIRLS

The Girls are emerging British female artist duo Andrea Blood (b.1975) and Zoë Sinclair (b.1976), who grew up in Dorset, and met at school aged 16. While on an art foundation course at Bournemouth's Arts Institute (AIB), both were cherry-picked for Central Saint Martins by visiting course directors. Blood and Sinclair began collaborating in 1996 during their first year at Central Saint Martins, also sharing a Brixton flat, and were soon nicknamed 'The Girls' by the CSM Photography Department. In 2006 the pair began collaborating again, and are currently working on their first book of self portraits. www.thegirls.co.uk

ABOUT BEVERLEY KNOWLES FINE ART

Beverley Knowles Fine Art is the only art gallery in the UK specialising in the work of contemporary British women artists. Since its launch in 2002 Beverley Knowles Fine Art has been developing an international reputation for championing women artists, dedicated to assisting the development of talented young graduates into successful challenging artists, as well as showing the work of more established contemporary masters. The gallery is part of the Arts Council Own Art Scheme offering interest free loans on purchases at selected galleries.

Beverley Knowles Fine Art is at 88 Bevington Road, London, W10 5TW. The gallery is just off Portobello Road, opposite the gastro pub The Fat Badger. The nearest tube is Ladbroke Grove.
Telephone +44 (0)20 8969 0800 www.beverleyknowles.com

DOWNLOAD HIGH RESOLUTION PHOTOGRAPHS

High resolution photographs are available to download directly, please email thegirlslondon@yahoo.com for a log-in.

For more information please contact Zoe Sinclair on +44 (0)7915 089 722 or
email thegirlslondon@yahoo.com

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