The London Drawing Group announce two online feminist Art History lectures with a percentage of proceeds going to domestic violence charity Solace

  • LONDON, United Kingdom
  • /
  • April 15, 2020

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Cariani (Giovanni Busi), Portrait of a Young Woman as Saint Agatha and Margaret Harrison, Beautiful Ugly Violence

The London Drawing Group announce two online feminist Art History lectures with a percentage of proceeds going to domestic violence charity Solace

Violence Against Women In Western Art: 18 April 2020, 11am

How should we view Art by ‘Immoral’ Artists? Picasso, Women and Philosophy of Art: 19 April 2020, 11am

The London Drawing Group has announced that they will host two virtual lectures this weekend: How should we view Art by ‘Immoral’ Artists? Picasso, Women and Philosophy of Art and Violence Against Women In Western Art.

Led by London Drawing Group founder Luisa-Maria MacCormack, the first lecture on 18 April, poses the simple question: why is there SO much violence against women depicted in Western Art History? From the ubiquitous depictions of the beautiful nymphs of Greek Mythology, to the obsession with female Christian martyrs, the orientalist imagery so prevalent throughout the 1800s, even the use of illustration and mass media as a social weapon, violence against women is everywhere in art history.

The lecture invites attendees to learn some of the dark truths behind 'high culture', with a visual presentation of some of the most troubling images in art history, and some of the most famous ones to boot. It will examine the traditions and contextual histories behind the near ubiquitous depictions of rape in Greek myth, the ideas behind the extreme levels of violence perpetrated on female saints, and the tropes of 'otherness' and colonialisation of the bodies of women of colour throughout Art History, from the orientalist movement to the tragic story of Saartjie Baartman. (Colloquially known as the Hottentot Venus).

Luisa-Maria MacCormack will also be covering some of the incredible feminist interventions and activist art projects that female artists have created to add their voices to these ongoing debates - these include Kara Walker, Suzanne Lacy, Maria Abramovic and more.

How should we view Art by ‘Immoral’ Artists? On 19 April is led by Cambridge academic Dr Daisy Dixon alongside Luisa Maria MacCormack and will explore the work of morally suspect people not just through the lens of art history, but through the specialization of Philosophy of Art as well. Throughout the lecture, Daisy will explore the works of a whole variety of morally suspect artists, focusing on a recent exhibition of Picasso’s art, and introducing the concept of ‘ontology of artworks’. 

Dr Daisy Dixon says: 

“Great art is often made by morally problematic artists: Caravaggio was famous for his mesmerising use of chiaroscuro, but he was a murderer; Virginia Woolf was a pioneer in modern narrative devices, but she was accused of anti-Semitism; Picasso paved the way for cubism, but he was a misogynist; and Eric Gill may have produced ‘sensual’ sculptures of the young female form, but he was a paedophile. There is a familiar squeamishness with which viewers engage and approach such works of art: knowing an artist’s biography and general moral character can affect how we interpret and value their works. While it’s true that our reactions to such artworks are frequently sensitive to biographical detail, should they be? Is it right that our assessment of art be infected by knowledge about the artist’s life, or, is this inappropriate, because an artwork’s creative origin has no bearing on its identity?”

All lectures are 'pay what you can' with 25% of the proceeds going directly to SOLACE, a charity supporting women and girls who suffer from Gender Based Violence.

Luisa-Maria MacCormack says:

“Women's issues don't disappear in a pandemic, they worsen, they get de-prioritised and already strapped services are stretched to breaking point. As difficult as the last few weeks have been for most people, it will be a living nightmare for women (and men) living with abusers. We have already seen reports that Refuge, the UK’s largest domestic abuse charity, reported a 120% increase in calls to its helpline since lockdown began.

Many charities are stretched to breaking point, with fewer staff on front-lines, due to lockdown and staff sickness and some are struggling to ‘effectively support’ the women who desperately need their help. All the while, more than 25 organisations helping domestic violence victims have reported an increase in their caseload since the start of the UK’s coronavirus epidemic.

If you are stuck at home and not able to volunteer, there is still something we can do! 25% of the proceeds of the upcoming lectures will go straight to Solace, where it is needed most, to help vulnerable women and children through this time of great need. We ourselves are struggling for cash as self employed creatives throughout this time, but there are many far worse off, so please give generously and if you can't give generously because of your own financial constraints, the most helpful thing you can do is to share the event on social media and spread the word, so we can all support Solace to continue doing the incredible work they do.”

Links to classes:



About Solace:

Solace Women’s Aid’s vision is of a world where women and children live their lives free from all forms of male Violence Against Women & Girls (VAWG). Solace Women’s Aid exists to end the harm done through Violence Against Women and Girls. Their aim is to work to prevent violence and abuse as well as providing services to meet the needs of survivors particularly women and girls. Solace’s work is holistic and empowering, working alongside survivors to achieve independent lives free from abuse.

About Luisa Maria MacCormack:

Luisa-Maria MacCormack is a practicing artist, art history tutor and drawing tutor currently working in London. Luisa studied for her Foundation Degree at Chelsea College of Art and for her BA at London College of Fashion specialising in Surface Textiles for Fashion Design. She then went on to study with the Royal Drawing School and currently works as a practising artist and freelance art and art history tutor for the London Drawing Group and The Big Art Herstory Project.

Luisa is also a founding member of the collective The London Drawing Group, a teaching and arts collective run by three practicing female artists, with a focus on providing innovative and affordable art classes in London. LDG has worked with many major institutions in London including the British Museum, Tate Galleries, Bridget Riley Art Foundation, Freud Museum, The National Gallery, Lewisham Arthouse, the Hayward Gallery, Jerwood Gallery Hastings, the Royal British Society of Sculptors, the London Graphic Centre, and many more. Visit to find out more.

Most recently Luisa has founded the ‘Feminist arm’ of the London Drawing Group, The Big Art Herstory Project. The project aims to re-author the patriarchal world of museum and gallery spaces through radical retellings of iconic art historical images. Her classes include Female Sexuality and the Male Gaze, Powerful Women, Witches and Feminine Magick, Sacred Feminine: The Art of the Goddess, Shaman and Ritual: Sacred Feminine 2, The Pre Raphaelite Sisterhood and Hysterical Bodies. For a full list or to book Luisa for a tour please get in touch via the contact page. Visit to read more about BAHP

Luisa-Maria's work can be found on Instagram at @luisamariamfineart and @londondrawinggroup for recent works and updates on upcoming events.

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