De Ascanio’s paintings and sculptures work in tandem, exchanging symbols to explore the female experience through differing processes. Her paintings have a tropical colour palette, attributed to her early years spent in the volcanic Canary Islands. She hand builds clay into anatomical forms that are glazed with flowing circular narratives and fired to create enduring stone bodies. De Ascanio portrays the female in defiant guises, empowering both her and the viewer. Images emerge from autobiographical events, fantastical symbols from sci-fi film and literature, esoteric pagan practices, and ‘fire and brimstone’ altarpieces. Disrupting the patriarchal narratives propagated throughout art history, she revisualises the female as the protagonist and leader, with sexual ownership, and psychological resilience.

Rafaela de Ascanio (b.1986)

Turps Banana Off-Site Painting Programme 2018 - 2019   

MA Curating the Art Museum, Courtauld Institute of Art 2009 - 2010   

BA History of Art, Courtauld Institute of Art 2006 - 2008    

Fine Art Foundation Diploma, Central Saint Martin’s College 2005 - 2006


Recent Exhibitions



Monster/Beauty: The Female/Femme Gaze, Lychee One, curated by Marcelle Joseph      

Paintings On, And With Paper, Cob Gallery, curated by Cassie Beadle

Clay Today: A Showcase Of Ceramics In Isolation, Cynthia Corbett Gallery, curated by Preston Fitzgerald 

The Amber Room, curated by Rosie Reed



The Deccan Traps, Aindrea Contemporary (2 person)

Turps Banana Off-Site Painters, Turps Gallery, curated by Phil Allen and Marcus Harvey

If you know you know, Eccleston Project Space, curated by Mark Connolly & Joana Galego 

The Amber Room, curated by Rosie Reed   

Summer of Ceramics, Doddington Hall  

Nobu Knows Art, Nobu Hotel Shoreditch   

A Room of One’s Own, Koppel Gallery Central



The Body is a Blessed Juicy Fruit, Lamb Arts Gallery, London (2 person)

Her Stories, Protein Studios   

Elephant Parade London  

Adventures and Curiosities, Hauser and Wirth Gallery, London 

Duende, Kingsway Centre, Hackney   (solo)



Queer Campervan, Lila Festival, Switzerland 2018

Queer Campervan, Uniqlo Tate Lates, Tate Modern 2017

Queer Campervan, Peckham Festival 2016

The Alternative, Alternative Miss World, The Moth Club 2016



BLOOD. TEARS. FAITH. DOUBT., with works from The Arts Council Collection, The Courtauld Gallery 2010

All images copyright Rafaela de Ascanio 2020