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The Art

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Dancing Nuns (2007)

© Andrea Büttner. All Rights reserved. DACS 2023. Photo courtesy Hollybush Gardens, London





Paper, Ink




120 x 180 cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, with the support of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, and the Derek Williams Trust, 2015

Ownership history:

Purchased from Hollybush Gardens by the Contemporary Art Society, with the support of Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales and the Derek Williams Trust, 2015; presented to Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales, Cardiff, 2015/16
Büttner’s exhibition 'Hidden Marriage' at Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales in 2014 brought together two seemingly disparate parts of the Museum’s collection: the drawings of Gwen John and moss from the Museum’s Herbarium. The acquisition of her work, comprising a video, woodcuts and screen-prints, builds on the existing relationship between Büttner’s work and the Museum’s collection.

The video Little Works (2007) was filmed in a closed Carmelite order in London. Büttner, unable to enter the convent, enlisted the help of Sister Luke, one of the nuns in the order, who filmed her sisters’ ‘little works’, the small creative projects such as crocheted bowls, drawings and candles. Grille depicts a partly concealed view into the convent, and likewise represents its inaccessibility to members of the public. Both works have powerful links to Gwen John’s work with closed religious communities some hundred years earlier, which is also in the Museum’s collection.

Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales has recently focused on developing their holdings of modern and contemporary art, both in terms of acquisitions and exhibitions. This is in part due to the support of the Wales-based Derek Williams Trust which grant-aid much of the Museum’s post-1900 acquisitions and also acquire work on their own behalf which is then put on long-term loan to the Museum.

All rights reserved. Any further use will need to be cleared with the rights holder. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited.

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