It's been two years since rising star Ania Hobson was named BP Portrait Young Artist at the National Portrait Gallery. Now she's set to launch her debut solo exhibition in London this September, featuring a series of paintings that celebrate strong and independent millennial women.
On show at The Catto Gallery, the striking works show female characters dressed in workwear and chunky boots, often chosen by Ania herself, as she invites women to sit for her to paint their portraits. "Her sitters have an insouciant quality that speaks to an era of rising female consciousness," says the Gallery. Interestingly, Ania strives to avoid perfection, preferring instead to exaggerate her figures and allowing her emotions and experiences to guide her work.
"I like celebrating modern-day women, but I avoid painting them in a stereotypically feminine way," Ania says. "Women artists are now breaking through and becoming recognised for what we do, and I want to be part of that movement. I am trying to make my mark in a man's world, and I want to help portray women as strong, world-changing creatures."
The great-granddaughter of the well-known Polish painter Edward Trojanowski, Ania began painting at an early age. The East Anglian artist graduated with a degree in fine art from Suffolk University in 2011. She then went on to study at the Princes Drawing School in London and the Florence Academy of Art in Italy. She was invited to exhibit at the Venice Biennale 2019, as part of a group show called Personal Structures – Identities.