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Jennifer Higgie – The Other Side – Winter Brights – Ideas & Influence

Wednesday, October 25, 2023

Jennifer Higgie The Other Side: A discussion about women, art and the spirit world

Winter Brights – Ideas & Influence/Lecture 2 – Wednesday 25th October

7pm Tea, Coffee, Prosecco Reception

7.45pm – Lecture, 8.30 Q + A

After Hours at the Museum


Join us this October and November to hear some of the most interesting voices in the visual arts sphere in Ireland and the UK, as curators, writers and critics present illustrated presentations in a series of four evening lectures, supported by The Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media as part of the Night-Time Economy After Hours at the Museum scheme.


The Other Side: A Journey into Women, Art and the Spirit World


About the book: It’s not so long ago that a woman’s expressed interest in other realms would have ruined her reputation, or even killed her. And yet spiritualism, in various incarnations, has influenced numerous men – including lauded modernist artists such as Wassily Kandinsky, Piet Mondrian, Kazimir Malevich and Paul Klee – without repercussion. The fact that so many radical women artists of their generation – and earlier – also drank deeply from the same spiritual well has for too long been sorely neglected.In The Other Side, we explore the lives and work of a group of extraordinary women, from the twelfth-century mystic, composer and artist Hildegard of Bingen to the nineteenth- century English spiritualist Georgiana Houghton, whose paintings swirl like a cosmic Jackson Pollock; the early twentieth-century Swedish artist, Hilma af Klint, who painted with the help of her spirit guides and whose recent exhibition at New York’s Guggenheim broke all attendance records; the ‘Desert Transcendentalist’, Agnes Pelton, who painted her visions beneath the vast skies of California; the Swiss healer, Emma Kunz, who used geometric drawings to treat her patients; and the British surrealist and occultist, Ithell Colquhoun, whose estate of more than 5,000 works recently entered the Tate gallery collection. While the individual work of these artists is unique, the women loosely shared the same goal: to communicate with, and learn from, other dimensions.Weaving in and out of these myriad lives, sharing her own memories of otherworldly experiences, Jennifer Higgie discusses the solace of ritual, the gender exclusions of art history, the contemporary relevance of myth, the boom in alternative ways of understanding the world and the impact of spiritualism on feminism and contemporary art. A radical reappraisal of a marginalised group of artists, The Other Side is an intoxicating blend of memoir, biography and art history.


Previously the editor of Frieze magazine, Jennifer Higgie is an Australian writer who lives in London. Her books The Mirror & The Palette: Rebellion, Resilience and Resistance: 500 Years of Women’s Self Portraits (2021) and The Other Side: A Journey into Women, Art and the Spirit (2023) are published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson.


She is the presenter of Bow Down, a podcast about women in art history; the author and illustrator of the children’s book There’s Not One; the editor of The Artist’s Joke; author of the novel Bedlam; and the writer of the feature film I Really Hate My Job. In 2015, Jennifer curated the Hayward Touring and Arts Council Collection exhibition One Day, Something Happens: Pictures of People, which travelled from 2015-17 to Leeds Art Gallery; Nottingham Castle; The Atkinson, Southport; Towner Gallery, Eastbourne, and Highlanes Gallery, Drogheda.She has been a judge of the John Moore’s Painting Prize, the Paul Hamlyn Award, the Turner Prize and the 2021 Freelands Painting Prize and a member of the advisory boards of Arts Council England, the British Council Venice Biennale Commission and the Contemporary Art Society. She is currently on the Imperial War Museum Art Commissions Committee.


Jennifer has a BA Fine Art (Painting) from the Canberra School of Art, and a MA (Fine Art, Painting) from Victoria College of the Arts, Melbourne; her paintings are in various public and private collections in Australia. She travelled to London on a Murdoch Fellowship in 1995 and stayed.


The Q + A will be moderated by writer and broadcaster Sinéad Gleeson.

  • Type: Adult,Evening Event,Talks
  • Date and Time: October 25, 2023 - 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  • Costs:€6, Booking required
  • Duration:2 Hours