Paula Rego featured in an exhibition at the Tate Britain, sharing works from the 1950s to the 2010s. 


Starting on the 7th July began the Pula Rego exhibit at the Tate Britain. Visitors to the exhibit were allowed a level of immersion through the experience, due to it spanning a multitude of rooms, each containing works from a particular area of her life. Her work focuses on subjects of abortion and women's rights, making it not only intensely detailed and beautiful, but also rooted in politics. 


Rego was born in 1935 in Lisbon, to an anti-fascist electrical engineer, and an artist. She exhibited a passion for art from a young age, and eventually made a career of her work. She studied at The Slade School of Fine Art, and moved to London, where she continues to live to this day. Much of her work centres around women's rights and abortion rights; after going through a series of abortions herself, she began using themes of it and the way the criminalisation of abortion simply criminalises women.


In October, the A Level art students at my sixth form, including myself, visited the Rego exhibit in order to supplement our artist research. The visit proved to be impressively helpful for our progress in the course; it was an amazing experience to be able to see the work of such an extraordinary artist in real life. Rego works using bold, sweeping strokes and pastel lines; the effect of seeing these in real life as opposed to images on a computer was unmatched. I know I’m not alone in this belief as even our teachers have commented on how our work has become more expressive and personal after seeing hers. Fellow art student Nadeen Elboushi stated: “The Paula Rego exhibition was really enlightening, seeing her work really inspired me to come out of my comfort zone with my art; and make me more confident when knowing that my artwork will always develop, as will I.” Considering how close the Tate Britain is to my local area, and the discount on tickets for young people, I believe all art students who are able should take a visit to the Tate for special exhibits, or even just to walk around the gallery, as a majority of it is free. 


Paula Rego’s pieces are just as relevant today as when they were created; the themes she explores transcend the boundaries of art from the 50s or 60s, and any generation will be able to see themselves within it. This exhibition is something I will remember forever as the beginning of a new era of my art, inspired by the passion and freedom of Paula Rego.