On Not Being Able to Paint: Laura Smith, Lucy Stein and Claudia Tobin in-conversation

The Royal Drawing School’s new virtual series exploring the theme of Artists in Isolation, past, present and future curated by Dr Claudia Tobin. The series features artists, curators, writers and museum directors in discussion every Wednesday throughout the Summer Term.

A conversation between curator Laura Smith, artist Lucy Stein and writer/curator Claudia Tobin discussing the opportunities and challenges for women artists past and present, how lockdown is affecting the role of artists and the art gallery, and how motherhood influences artistic and curatorial practice. 

Tate St Ives Virginia Wolf Installs Shots - Lucy Stein and Laura Smith inn-conversation
Installation shot from Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writing, curated by Laura Smith at Tate St. Ives

Laura Smith is Curator at Whitechapel Gallery where she is responsible for a series of contemporary and historic exhibitions and commissions. Most recently she curated Helen Cammock's Che si può fare (2019), a major exhibition that celebrated Cammock as the seventh winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Laura will be working with the next winner, Emma Talbot, on her forthcoming exhibition. Laura writes extensively on modern and contemporary art and is working on a forthcoming monograph on Eileen Agar - to be published by Eiderdown Books. Laura is also mother to Willa (aged 16 months).

Choughed to bits - in-conversation with Lucy Stein, Laura Smith and Claudia Tobin
Lucy Stein, Choughed to bits, 2019, mixed media on A2 paper

Lucy Stein lives and works in St Just, Cornwall. She is mother to Mary May (2) and Sylvia (3 months). She studied at De Ateliers, Amsterdam from 2004-2006 after graduating with a BA (Hons) in Painting from The Glasgow School of Art in 2004. Upcoming (postponed) solo exhibitions include Wet Room at Spike Island, Bristol and Thesmophoria at Galerie Gregor Staiger, Milan. In 2018 she participated in Virginia Woolf: an exhibition inspired by her writing, curated by Laura Smith at Tate St. Ives; Pallant House Gallery, West Sussex and The Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge.

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).