Sara Berman and Luella Bartley (Armoured)

May 11, 2022

Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery is delighted to present the first exhibition by artists Sara Berman and Luella Bartley running from 11 May – 11 June 2022. The title, Armoured, is taken from a poem by fashion curator Judith Clark and psychoanalyst Adam Phillips, which inspired the two artists. Their show includes new works by Berman and Bartley, whose practices explore the female experience, specifically in relation to the body and space.


This joint exhibition presents viewers with Berman’s boldly scaled paintings of women dealing with the semiotics of dress-in this instance in the context of armour, alongside Bartley’s stark white sculptures of bandaged, contorted limbs, bent into angles that are simultaneously bold and awkward, beautiful, and grotesque. Bartley will also include gestural drawings of the naked female body, twisted into brazen postures. Both artist’s work possesses a compelling sense of rawness and intimacy: it is a visual dialogue that the viewer is invited not just to witness but to participate in.


Berman and Bartley ‘s work connects via an artistic language that is rooted in a deep understanding of textiles and the body and a precise intersection of time and place. Both women share former careers as fashion designers whose brands were born out of the very particular environment of the mid-90’s. Whilst Berman’s subjects are concealed figures, protected by their clothing, Bartley’s figures bare all, exposing vulnerability to the viewer. Seeing both artists works side by side, the viewer experiences a juxtaposition, alongside the evident trust between the artists as women and friends.