An Edge Hill academic with a research interest in the surrealist painter Leonora Carrington (1917-2011) is supporting Tate Liverpool curators on an exhibition of her work.

As part of his research into the surrealist artist, Professor Roger Shannon has uncovered a number of pieces which have never publicly been exhibited before and are on display in the new exhibition.

Leonora Carrington, which runs from 6 March-31 May 2015, is the first UK solo exhibition of Carrington’s work in over 20 years and explores the fantastical world of the painter. An internationally celebrated member of the surrealist movement, Carrington turned her back on her upper class upbringing in Clayton-le-Woods, Chorley in the 1930s and eventually settled in Mexico.

Carrington was renowned for the extraordinary worlds she created in her work. In 1947 her work was included in an international exhibition of surrealism in New York, where she was the only female British artist featured, establishing her pivotal role in the surrealist movement. In the 1950s and 60s she broadened her practice and embraced set and costume design for productions including her own, Penelope (1957). She also designed film costumes and sets and performed as an actress.

Leonora Carrington The Pomps of the Subsoil (1947)

Leonora Carrington The Pomps of the Subsoil (1947)

Professor Roger Shannon said: “When I first became aware of Leonora Carrington’s work, it struck me that a significant aspect of the North West’s cultural heritage had been under recognised. This was the spur to my research into her extensive creative output and the impact of her background. Carrington’s work encompassed many aspects of the visual arts (including film, which is my own professional focus) and through the span of her creative life she frequently drew on significant influences from her Lancastrian nurturing. Having proposed to Tate Liverpool that an exhibition was overdue in this area, I am delighted that this suggestion has been embraced with such imagination and energy by Artistic Director Francesco Manacorda and his fellow curators ; their collective ‘take’ on Leonora Carrington has been inspiring.”

A major highlight of the exhibition will be The Magical World of the Mayas (1964), a 4.5 metre long mural painted by Carrington for the opening of the new Museo Nacional de Antropologia in Mexico City in 1964. Refusing to be constrained or restricted by expectations or conventional limitations, Carrington’s expended practice has made her an inspiration to many contemporary artists working across a range of mediums.

Professor Roger Shannon added: “The work of Leonora Carrington was unknown to me

Professor Roger Shannon

Professor Roger Shannon

until 2011 when I read Joanna Moorhead’s obituary of the life and creativity of this marvellous surrealist artist, whose early life and upbringing took place in Lancashire, so close to the University. My research since then has led to me tracking down a number of Leonora’s pieces in the ownership of the extended Carrington family in Lancashire, which have never been publicly exhibited before. These will form part of Tate Liverpool’s exhibition.”

Francesco Manacorda, Artistic Director, Tate Liverpool said: “We’re thrilled to be working so closely with Edge Hill University on this exhibition. Roger’s input and insight has been invaluable and our collaboration with the University as a sponsor of the exhibition is a fantastic example of the power of partnerships.”

As part of Edge Hill University’s relationship with Tate Liverpool and the Leonora Carrington exhibition, the University will host an evening ‘In Conversation’ with Tate Liverpool’s Artistic Director, Francesco Manacorda and journalist and cousin of Leonora Carrington, Joanna Moorhead on April 29th, 18.30 – 20.30 at the flagship Creative Edge building.

Edge Hill University is sponsoring Leonora Carrington, which is also supported by the Government of Mexico as part of the Year of Mexico in the UK 2015.