Ione Rucquoi at RWA, Bristol

Ione Rucquoi

I took craftswoman, Shani Wills, to see Ione Rucquoi's "Sanctae" at the Royal West of England Academy in Clifton, Bristol.

An exhibition of 21 photographic images of women, in the 'round' (actually more like a church's round chancel), this is a confronting exhibition of huge, life-sized portraits of naked and vulnerable - yet powerful - women, which pays tribute to the domestic and cultural ambiguities of what it is to be a woman.

Full of Byzantine-type symbolism with gold halos and a sacred, safe space where silent suffering is given a voice and the viewer (the voyeur?) is challenged to contemplate self-acceptance and to feel at peace with the raw beauty and strength of the individuals undergoing transformative, yet passing experiences.

I wept.

-Helen