Gallagher is a leading contemporary painter who also creates drawings, prints, sculptures and films. Her works explore the language of Modernist painting with symbolic or narrative content, often touching on issues of representation. All of her work is characterised by a density of imagery and complex, built-up surface detail. In the work exhibited at Tate Liverpool, she explores the myth of Drexciya ‚Äì populated by a marine species descended from captive African slaves thrown overboard for being sick and disruptive cargo during the gruelling journey from Africa to America. The exhibition at Tate Liverpool will include the new painting Bird in Hand, the series of Watery Ecstatic drawings (featured in her Art21 segment), as well as new works that explore related themes of the slave and salt trades, the history of the Cape Verde islands, natural history, fantasy, and science fiction.
This exhibition ties in with a number of events organised around the celebration of the 200th anniversary of the abolition of slavery in Britain in 2007.