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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.


Bodman, Virginia (2013) COSTUME DRAMA. Malerie, 2012, NewBridge Project Space, Newcastle and Transition Gallery, London.

Item Type: Show/Exhibition


COSTUME DRAMA, 2010-13, body of work comprising 20 works on paper, (watercolour, gouache, acrylic), 5 etchings, 15 large and 30 small oil paintings.

The work considers and investigates the human need to escape, albeit on a temporary basis from paramount reality, see Escape Attempts, Cohen, S & Taylor, L, (1976). A troupe of female figures, (first encountered in PALCE), escape from the vicissitudes of daily life, adopting personas borrowed from C17, 18 & 19th Spanish, Persian and French paintings and inhabit new or different pictorial spaces in which responses to living in a contemporary patriarchal society can be safely acted out. Playfully employing a range of making strategies and using a mix of representational and abstract forms, referencing a wide range of sources from the histories of painting from Abstract Expressionism to devotional imagery, the resulting works are silent, obscure and mysterious. The COSTUME DRAMA webpage includes a number of studio shots showing some of the paintings installed as part of a large-scale drawing installation: REVISIT, REVIEW, REPRISE.

Two paintings from the COSTUME DRAMA group were shown in MALERIE, a touring group exhibition, (11 artists), jointly curated by 3 exhibitors, Natalie Gale, Sarah Bowker-Jones and Sarah Kate Wilson. MALERIE disseminated current approaches to ‘painting as object’ through the artists’ engagements with process, substance and materiality. The exhibition began at NewBridge Project Space, Newcastle, (20.4.2012- 24.5.2012), and then toured to Transition Gallery, London (9.6.2012-1.7.2012), and will conclude at Project Space Leeds in 2013, (Leeds venue and date TBC). This exhibition extended the remit of Unbound: Possibilities in Painting, Hayward Gallery, 1994 and Painting to Object, Tate Gallery, 2009 and also provided new perspectives – insiders’ accounts of the current concerns of a group of cross-generational artists including Alexis Harding, Phyllida Barlow and Paul Merrick.

Image (JPEG) (Costume Drama/Balancing Act (Holes), 2011-12, acrylic and oil on cotton, 181 x 269 cm)

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Image (JPEG) (Costume Drama, 2011, oil and sand on acrylic on cotton, 181 x 240 cm)

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Image (JPEG) (Hoffmann and the Governess, 2011, oil and acrylic on cotton, 178 x 242 cm)

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Image (JPEG) (Costume Drama/Hoffmann and the Governess, 2011, installed in Malerie exhibition, NewBridge Project Space, Newcastle, 2012)

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Image (JPEG) (Costume Drama/Fashion Plate, 2012, oil and acrylic on cotton, 43 x 71 cm, installed in Malerie, Transition Gallery, London)

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Image (JPEG) (Costume Drama/Juggling (Saw), 2011, oil on cotton, 178 x 242 cm)

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Image (JPEG) (Dirty Ground (Teatime), 2011-12, oil on cotton, 173 x 249 cm)

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More Information

Depositing User: Virginia Bodman


Item ID: 3862
Official URL:

Users with ORCIDS

ORCID for Virginia Bodman: ORCID iD

Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2013 11:47
Last Modified: 30 Sep 2019 11:01


Author: Virginia Bodman ORCID iD

University Divisions

Institute of Arts and Creative Industries > Art and Design Workstream
Faculty of Arts and Creative Industries


Fine Art > Painting

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