Bay Backner Launches Thursday Society with Founder Members

Today Bay, together with eight founder-members, launched Thursday Society – the first open, inclusive and global artists’ collective. The aim of the society is to make creative community, support and education freely available to all.

Thursday Society was founded on the belief that supportive communities are essential for creativity. That more of us can be creative if we widen access to communities that encourage self-belief and give structure.

The eventual intention is to organise the society as a DAO, a Decentralized autonomous organisation. This will allow us to fund member projects and international collaborations using blockchain smart contracts and community voting.

With sincere thanks to the founder-members of Thursday Society for your ideas, experience and enthusiasm.

Anda Pleniceanu
Theorist, author of hybrid texts, art enthusiast and experimental visual artist.

Dr. Louise Atkinson
Multi-disciplinary visual artist and researcher, based in Leeds, UK.

Zoe Marie Bullingham
Novelist, poet and screenwriter. Stories cultivate dreams, which cultivate stories: it’s an infinite symbiosis and why I write.

Caroline Wood-Robertson
Interior Designer based in Yorkshire, UK and mum of four.

Sandi Goodwin
Self-taught abstract artist. My work is very versatile and I love exploring texture and colour.

Margaret Flaws
Activist, collaborator and writer.

Tina McCallan
Artist, writer and curator commited to inclusivity in the arts through her collective painting “ReCreations”. She also paints under the name of Marie Julou.

Josie McCoy
British artist who paints realist portraits of fictional characters from the world of film, television and music.

For more information visit the Thursday Society site.

Photos from the Opening Night of dirty Pink Art Exhibition, russafa

‘Dirty Pink’, a new exhibition curated by Tina McCallan, opened last night in Russafa. Bay is excited to be showing her paintings ‘Allegory’ and ‘Confession’ alongside work by twelve international women artists.

The exhibition will be open at Sporting Club Russafa every weekend until 31st July 2021.

With sincere thanks to photographer Rosie Mayell for the photographs of the opening inauguration below.

Bay Backner, pictured in front of her paintings Allegory and Confession, before the opening of the exhibition. Photo: Rosie Mayell
Curator Tina McCallan and friend, pictured in front of an installation by Emma Shapiro.
Installation view of the entry gallery.
All photos: Rosie Mayell

Bay Backner Exhibiting In ‘Dirty Pink’, Sporting Club Russafa, Valencia

Bay is delighted to be exhibiting in this summer’s collective show ‘Dirty Pink’ in Sporting Club Russafa, Valencia. The exhibition, curated by Tina McCallan is an exhibition of thirteen international women artists responding to the controversial colour pink. 

The exhibition opens on Friday 2nd July at 18.00 until 22.00 and will run until 31st July.

Themes of the Russafa art exhibition

Tina intends to pose important questions through the exhibition, including whether gender is a performance and the reality of a “feminine or feminist aesthetic”. As she explains,

“Over the centuries, society’s perception of the colour has changed, at times being considered feminine, erotic, kitsch, sophisticated or transgressive. 

According to Valerie Steele the author of Pink: the history of a Punk, Pretty, Powerful Colour, The 150-year-old notion of pink as synonymous with fragile femininity is being challenged. We’ve seen the rise of millennial pink as an ‘It’ hue, but also its appropriation by feminists around the world as a powerful, socio-political mark.”

Dirty Pink exhibition poster, July 2021

Participating Valencia and International Artists

The participating artists will address this ambiguity alongside their own individual styles and concerns:

  •  Perfection and imperfection, be it the mathematical perfection in the abstract works of Katrina Blannin who in, “Maximillian # 101 and 102”, bases her abstract works on the mathematical formulas of the Old Masters or the colour perfection of Caroline List, for example in, “Chromascape Scarlet Green” uses complimentary colour gradients to refer to Modernist abstraction and representational languages. Illusory perfection can be seen in the iridescent skin of Raimunda IV” by Josie McCoy whose uncannily realistic portraits of female celebrities give the viewer a sense of the “unheimlich”
  • The surface perfection of the blank canvas is physically attacked in the works by Marie Julou with glitter-sprinkled, scratched and pencil doodled oil paint. In “Glitter Circle” and “Sgraffiti Doodle 1” she mixes both “low” and “high” art materials on amateur canvases and, with tongue firmly in cheek, she seeks to challenge the modernist patriarchal hegemony while in Sandi Goodwin’s “Splash of Pink”, the energetic gestural strokes of colour almost burst out of the frame.
  • In Celia Kettle’sShot through the Heart” the circle operates as a metaphor for the individual with watery spheres breaking out of their boundaries and spilling out onto the white canvas like blood stains.
  •  Partly inspired by Magritte’s “The Lovers” as well as the judgement around women breastfeeding in public, Motherhood is tackled in Alex Baker’s graphically beautiful photos entitled, “This is Motherhood” of women breast feeding while Francesca Ricci’s subtly layered paintings entitled “In Utero are dotted with esoteric signs and symbols referring to the experience of maternity as an almost alchemical process.
  • Beauty, self-image, and identity are tackled in the work of Bay Backner with alien-like flesh-coloured floral forms in “Allegory”, threatening to obliterate the figure. Painted “Alla prima”, (wet into wet) these portraits are based on photos of the artist, the surfaces of which are then decorated with embroidered patterns.
Allegory painting by artist Bay Backner, oil paint and embroidery
Allegory by Bay Backner – exhibiting in Dirty Pink in Russafa this month.
  •  The fragmented and politicised female body is dealt with in Emma Shapiro’s “”Cuerpas”, video series.  Using old life modelling photos of herself, she cuts them up and reassembles them mixing heads, torsos, and legs then films them in an animated dance which resembles scientific flicker tests. In her “Nipple Wall”, visitors will be able to take a selfie in front of wallpaper printed with the nipples of hundreds of women, challenging the censorship around this part of the body.
  •  In Lauren Moffatt’s film loop entitled “Rose, coloured” in a futile attempt at control, the artist has painted in oil directly onto her image on the frames of a super 8 film with the effect that the acid in the paint dissolves and ultimately destroys the film.   K.L. Brown shows us, in “Sophie’s choice”, a photographic work of a discarded dolls house which aims to question the social structures around us and their effect on our psychological state while Ashley Davies’s painting hovers between abstraction and figuration in a liminal space influenced by her visual impairment questioning the certainty of perception.

Exhibition Times and Dates

Dirty Pink will inaugurate on Friday 2nd July at 18.00 until 22.00, and then be open to visitors on the dates below:

Saturday 3rd /10th/17th/24th/ July 11am -2pm

Bay Backner to read her new book on creativity at Jan Royce Gallery

Join Bay for her book reading and discussion on creativity, this Sunday 30th May. You’ll hear Bay read from her new book The 21 Day Creative, a practical guide to creative fulfillment for busy lives. The book is planned for an October release.

You can then take part in an inclusive open-floor discussion on some of the book’s themes – creativity, creative myths, creator-loneliness, permission, muses and creating with fragmented time.

The event is free and open to all, but places are limited to 12. To reserve yours, RSVP at the Art Nights Out Meetup or email Cornelis Moon, Director of The Jan Royce Gallery.

With the kind support of The Jan Royce Gallery

Sunday 30th May, 12.00 – 12.45pm

The 21 Day Creative – Book reading by Bay Backner

Bay Backner interviewed by Valencia TV News about her Art Walk initiative

Bay conceived and created Art Walk Valencia as a new initiative to support independent art spaces in her city. Eleven galleries and art venues opened simultaneously on Sunday 18 April from 11.00am – 14.00pm, with a map and information published on

Bay organised Art Walk as a responsible, covid-safe way to experience art in Valencia. Art Walkers walked in groups of four or less and followed all safety measures when inside the arts spaces.

Art Walk was a resounding success, with some spaces welcoming more than 300 visitors safely over the three hour event. Valencia’s A Punt TV News programme reported from Art Walk and interviewed Bay about the aims of the initiative. Bay also gave a radio interview for Podríem Fer-ho Millo alongside SET Espai D’Art gallery director Reyes Martinez.

For more information about Art Walk Valencia, visit You can also sign up to Bay’s mailing list to hear of the second Art Walk planned for later this year.

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Bay Backner brings together eleven independent galleries for Art Walk Valencia

Bay conceived and created Art Walk Valencia as a new initiative to support independent art spaces in her city. Eleven galleries and art venues opened simultaneously on Sunday 18 April from 11.00am – 14.00pm, with a map and information published on

Art Walk was a resounding success, with some spaces welcoming more than 300 visitors safely over the three hour event. Valencia’s A Punt TV News programme reported from Art Walk and interviewed Bay about the aims of the initiative. Bay also gave a radio interview for Podríem Fer-ho Millo alongside SET Espai D’Art gallery director Reyes Martinez.

Bay and the A Punt TV film crew during Art Walk – photo: Sandi Goodwin

Art Walk was free and open to all, with “Art Walkers” to take part in groups of four or less in line with current covid restrictions. There was no set route between the eleven venues, but the furthest galleries, La Trini in La Zaidía and Lanevera in Russafa, are just a 30 minute walk apart. 

The idea for Art Walk came out of Bay’s conversation with Kristin Gracie, founder of Russafa’s The RW Project, about how to safely open their current art exhibition “Eve” to visitors.  

Eve in The RW Project space

“Covid has challenged artists to become more creative about sharing our work. It’s been a year now without normal gallery inaugurations or artist talks in independent spaces,” explains Bay.

“Before Covid I organised a Meetup group of 1,000 art-goers in Valencia. Since lockdown, many have asked me how they can continue to support Valencia’s artists,” she continues.

“Art Walk makes it easy to visit some of our city’s most exciting art spaces. In English these are called “grassroots” arts spaces because they encourage emerging artists. If we can help them to grow their audience, we all benefit from a thriving art scene.”

Bay and other Art Walkers in La Trini Gallery – photo: Sandi Goodwin

The Jan Royce Gallery in El Carmen was the first gallery to agree to open on Sunday for Art Walk. Director Cornelis Moonen explains,

“Art Walk is a wonderful initiative. It underlines how Valencia’s art galleries and artists continue to work together to present new contemporary art, in spite of this challenging year.” 

“By walking on a Sunday morning, we also support our neighbourhood’s restaurants and bars. I hope that many art-lovers find inspiration in the diversity of the art being presented, and enjoy (re-)discovering their vibrant, artistic city.” 

Reyes Martinez, director of gallery SET Espai D’Art adds, 

“We are participating in Art Walk because we support any initiative that brings art closer to the public, that normalises visiting galleries and exhibitions, and that recognises the work that galleries do in supporting and representing artists.” 

A Punt TV News film in SET Espai D’Art during Art Walk

Bay Backner to show embroidered paintings about solitude, isolation and hope at Jan Royce Gallery

Bay Backner will participate in ¡Abril Despierta! (April Awakes!) at The Jan Royce Gallery in Valencia. Bay will show five new works alongside paintings by Valencia artist Tatiana Roig and Russian Aleksandra Istorik.

For ¡Abril Despierta! Bay has made five figurative artworks in oil paint and hand-embroidery on canvas. These explore how identities are being shaped by this year’s pandemic, specifically how its experiences affect our subconscious minds. Truth expresses how many of us looked inwards during isolation; Trust, the creative relationship between our conscious and subconscious;  Expectation, how we balanced hope with reality; Ice, the complicated nature of solitude and Untitled, the freedom of imagination while confined. 

The Jan Royce Gallery exhibits contemporary art from around the world, presenting a “fascinating, broad selection of artists and works. Stimulating, cutting-edge works by established contemporary artists, as well as intriguing works from young emerging artists, who may not have yet gained public acclaim.”

Jan Royce Gallery director Cornelius Moon affirms that the space “recognises the importance of supporting local talent and believes that the development of the Arts in any community is paramount in creating a society with character and soul.”

Artist and journalist Tatiana Roig writes that ¡Abril Despierta! is “an art exhibition where three artists from different nationalities reflect on the influences of being born in different countries and their very diverse way of conceiving art. Three women come together in a post-pandemic era to show their art and its origins.”

“Unusual textures and textiles, blending cotton and wood, shape a multicultural exhibition in the heart of the city of Valencia.”

The show will open on 10th April 2021 and run until 30th May.

Bay Backner in reopening exhibition at Blacks London

Blacks London set to reopen on 17th May after Soho’s lengthy lockdown. The legendary private members’ club will show two paintings by Bay Backner, curated in a collective exhibition by Runway Gallery.

Blacks, Soho exhibition with Bay Backner – London from 17th May

The exhibition will present Bay’s pre-lockdown paintings, Delta and Shard. Here you can see the paintings hung alongside a piece by fellow Runway artist Barry Wilson. All the paintings are currently available through Runway Gallery in London and online.

We wish Blacks much love for a wonderful reopening.