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Alexis Soul-Gray: Straw Girl

Sat 05 Mar 2022 - Sun 17 Apr 2022



Free Entry


Open Daily

Alexis Soul-Gray: Straw Girl

Exeter Phoenix Gallery is pleased to present ‘Straw Girl’ a solo presentation of new work by Devon-based artist Alexis Soul-Gray.

Working in painting, collage, assemblage and printmaking, Soul-Gray explores ideas of nurture, dereliction and the mother archetype in relation to trauma and loss. She employs a variety of found imagery and objects, both as points of reference and as physical material to question issues around memorial, nostalgia and commemoration.

Soul-Gray regularly utilises processes such as appropriation, detournement (rerouting/hijacking) and the re-ordering of paper ephemera, such as vintage knitting patterns and book illustrations, as well as found objects and art historical references. Her imagery is often defaced and re-made, scratched and scraped away at, before being tenderly transformed, variously into paintings, prints and drawings, in which the saccharin and the abject sit in a purposefully contradictory conversation. In this way, she explores the fluid nature of recall, allowing intuition to lead the work through various states of exploration until reaching their final resting place.

She describes her works as “a direct manifestation of a shattering and destructive personal trauma, creating a lexicon of possibilities that attempt to speak of the universal experience of loss, the mother and nostalgic longing.”

The exhibition follows a period of residency in the gallery, during which Soul-Grey aimed to experiment with bringing more sculptural elements into her practice and with working at a larger scale than has previously been possible. It will be a chance to see recent paintings, shown for the first time in the UK before the artist’s first international solo exhibition in New York later this year and may also include new work made during the residency period.

This exhibition forms part of our Platform programme, which offers artists based in the South West region opportunities to test out ideas, new work and recent developments in their practice.


Exhibition preview

Sat 5 Mar | 3-5pm

Join us for a drink and the first chance to see the new exhibition on its opening day.


Artists Talk
Sat 2 Apr | 1.30pm | free (booking essential)

Join the artist as they discuss the exhibition and his wider practice.

Find out more and book >>


Buy a print: Alexis Soul-Gray: Edith, 2021 | £30 (+p&p)

A limited edition, Giclée print of an original painting in an edition of 100 unframed copies. Printed with archival ink on 290gsm Hahnemühle Agave fibre paper. Paper size 274 × 356mm. This edition was made as an affordable artwork to accompany Alexis Soul-Gray’s exhibition Straw Girl.

Purchase a print >>


Alexis Soul-Gray (b.1980), lives and works in Devon and is currently studying MA Painting at The Royal College of Art, London.  She is alumni of The Royal Drawing School having completed the Postgraduate Drawing Year between 2006-7, her undergraduate degree was in Drawing from Camberwell College of Art, graduating in 2003 after completing a foundation course at Central Saint Martins College of Art. Alexis has held lecturing positions in universities, worked as an independent curator and is a 2021 recipient of The Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation Grant for Painting and Drawing. She is currently working towards her first international solo shows.


Alexis Soul-Gray, Untitled, 2021

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