Feminine Power: Belinda Crerar in conversation with Sarah Pickstone and Claudia Tobin

Join us for our online Summer Lecture Series; Artists, curators and writers look in-depth at ideas and approaches to art and the creative endeavour through talks and conversations. Curated by Dr Claudia Tobin, lectures are held Wednesday evenings live on Zoom. 

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Feminine Power: Belinda Crerar in conversation with Sarah Pickstone and Claudia Tobin

'Gaja-Lakshmi', c. 1780, India, Gouache on paper © The Trustees of the British Museum 

What is femininity? How do different cultures view female identity? How has gender been perceived in the past? The British Museum exhibition Feminine power: the divine to the demonic looks to goddesses, spirits, witches and saints feared and revered for over 5,000 years for answers. 

The first exhibition of its kind, Feminine Power takes a cross-cultural look at the representation of femininity within global religion and spirituality. This introduction to the exhibition explores some of the diverse beliefs represented within the show, bringing together sculptures, sacred objects and contemporary art from the ancient world to today, to highlight the many faces of feminine power – ferocious, beautiful, drunk, creative or hell-bent – and its seismic influence throughout time. 

Feminine Power: Belinda Crerar in conversation with Sarah Pickstone and Claudia Tobin

'Architectural moulding in the form of Medusa’s head', c. 500 BCE, Italy, painted terracotta 
© The Trustees of the British Museum 

Belinda Crerar is the lead curator of Feminine Power: the divine to the demonic. A curator in the British Museum’s International Engagement Department, her work is focussed on generating cross-collection exhibitions using an inter-disciplinary approach. Since joining the British Museum in 2012 she has also managed the collection of Romano-British antiquities as well as being a lead member of the major cross-collection research project Empires of Faith. She has a particular interest in religious iconography and the art and archaeology of the Roman Empire after completing her doctorate on the subject at the University of Cambridge. 

Sarah Pickstone is a London based painter, and a tutor at the Royal Drawing School. Sarah’s work has a broad interest in the idea of the feminine and how this manifests in contemporary art, with particular reference to this year's Venice Biennale ‘The Milk of Dreams’ curated by Cecilia Alemeni.

Dr Claudia Tobin is a writer and curator. She held a Leverhulme Fellowship at University of Cambridge 2017-19 and is now a Senior Research Associate at Jesus College Cambridge and Visiting Fellow at UCL Institute of Advanced Studies. She recently co-curated Jerusalem in Exile: Artist’s Books by Kamal Boullata. She recently published Modernism and Still Life: Artists, Writers, Dancers (2020), and is co-editor of Ways of Drawing: Artists' Perspectives and Practices (Thames & Hudson, 2019).