Exhibitions: FREE

(No booking required)


Saturday 11 February - Sunday 18 June 2023

Join us for a BIG exhibition celebrating the creative achievements of women in art!

Curated by one of Britain’s most significant contemporary artists – Sarah Lucas – and featuring the work of over twenty high-profile female artists, the BIG WOMEN exhibition will include a variety of works that will make you think, laugh and reflect on the role women play in the creative world.

Works included in the exhibition will range from sculpture, painting, film to fashion, with works by artists including Renata Adela, Erica Åkerlund, Fiona Banner aka The Vanity Press, Kate Boxer, Yoko Brown, Angela Bulloch, Phillippa Clayden, Sonia Coode-Adams, Vanessa Fristedt, Maggi Hambling, Pam Hogg, Rachel Howard, Merilyn Humphreys, Patricia Jordan, Princess Julia, Abigail Lane, Tory Lawrence, Millie Laws, Polly Morgan, Clare Palmier, Georgina Starr, Milly Thompson, Gillian Wearing, Sue Webster, and Lucas herself.

Inspired by conversations with friends and fellow artists, BIG WOMEN explores the questions and themes relating to womanhood, of societal expectations surrounding age, beauty, fashion and identity; celebrating women’s myriad achievements in the arts.

“So much emphasis in our culture is on youth. When the media wants to arouse our sympathy it’s all about children. The fashion and advertising media concentrates on young female beauty. The older woman is often overlooked, irrelevant, without currency. We live in an increasingly ageist society and this affects women disproportionately.

 I see BIG WOMEN as both an endorsement and a celebration of women’s achievement in the creative field. It aspires to be thought provoking, funny, serious, attractive and fun. God knows we need it in these times dominated by male aggression, politicking, greed, war and pig-headedness.”

 – Sarah Lucas


The exhibition has been made possible with support from Sadie Coles HQ, The Ampersand Foundation, The Coode Adams Firstsite Trust, and YesColours.



Sarah Lucas

Sarah Lucas lives and works in Suffolk, very close to the Essex border and Firstsite’s home of Colchester. Over the course of two decades, she has become recognised as one of Britain’s most significant contemporary artists. Spanning sculpture, photography and installation, her work has consistently been characterised by irreverent humour and the use of everyday ‘readymade’ objects. Sarah studied at Goldsmiths College where she exhibited in the now historic Freeze exhibition in London’s Docklands in 1988. Her work has since been exhibited in venues across the globe. In 2015 she represented Great Britain at the 56th International Art Exhibition, Venice Biennale.



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Opening Celebration | BIG WOMEN

Friday 10 February 2023

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Join us for a special evening event to celebrate the opening of our hotly anticipated new exhibition, BIG WOMEN.

Be the first to experience this thought-provoking and entertaining exhibition curated by one of Britain’s most significant and exciting contemporary artists – Sarah Lucas.

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More Big Women conference

Thursday 23 February 2023

9:00 am - 5:00 pm

Inspired by our new exhibition BIG WOMEN, we’ve brought together some of the most influential and inspiring women from across the art and cultural sector (and beyond!) to share their professional and personal experiences of leadership in culture.

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Welcome area at Firstsite. 'Big Hello' (2018) Peter Liversidge. Photo by Jayne Lloyd.

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