A Tragical Romance is an evocative exhibition exploring the transcendent potential of the human body through the works of artists Leah Clements, Rebecca Jagoe, Korallia Stergides and Marianne Vlaschits. Moving beyond the conventional boundaries of human form, these artists delve into non-human connections, embracing the natural and supernatural realms to create a narrative of unity and interconnectedness.

The exhibition challenges the able-bodied perspective, highlighting how desire, love, and intimacy can foster new forms of crip embodiment. The works presented in A Tragical Romance engage with elements such as water, rocks, ghosts, and animals, inviting viewers to consider an over-identification with the external world. This shift is articulated through various mediums, including photography, sculpture, painting and performance, with text serving as a central axis for this exploration.

The artworks reflect a profound sentimentality, addressing the fantasy of crossing the human/non-human divide and the grim reality of our toxic relationship with nature in the face of climate destruction. This exhibition draws parallels with the Romantic era, known for its intense emotions and fascination with the sublime. Like the Romantics, these contemporary works navigate the interplay between beauty and darkness, exploring themes of sorrow, loss, and the fragility of life. In doing so, they offer a contemplative reflection on mortality, particularly through the lens of illness and disability.

Curated by
Mariana Lemos (b. 1991, Lisbon), is an independent curator based in London. Her practice focuses on performance art, affect, queer/feminist phenomenologies, and issues related to illness and disability. She holds an MFA in Curating from Goldsmiths University of London (2020) and a BA in Fine Arts (2015).

Her curatorial approach centres on public programming, accessibility, and feminist methodologies, often working collectively and collaboratively. Lemos is a member of the FDRG feminist reading group and the SALOON London board. She was Co-Editor at Mercurius Magazine and has written for Art Review, Flash Art, Mousse and Concreta. She has worked as the studio manager for artist Angela de La Cruz and in galleries such as Lisson Gallery, Union Pacific, Arcadia Missa, Black Tower, and the Feminist Library. Recent projects include ‘Vaivém’ by Francisca Pinto at Ostra, Lisbon (PT/2024); ‘DIG IN: Maisie Maris & Laura Mallows’ at Staffordshire St, London (UK/2023); ‘INSOMNIA’ by Leah Clements at South Kiosk, London (UK/2022-23); and ‘Oceanic Feelings’ at Electro Studios Space, St Leonards (UK/2021).

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