YORK gallery The Art Of Protest is showing Pam Glew’s first solo exhibition north of Birmingham from today.

After Alexandra Gallagher’s sell-out show last month, Craig Humble and Jeff Clark's art space in Little Stonegate continues to celebrate the women artists on their books with Glew’s Dark Tales show of original and limited-edition artwork until August 2.

Clark says: "This is the third exhibition this year where our focus has been on female artists who exhibit at The Art of Protest. Although not planned as a timely feminist focus to align with the centenary of the vote being eventually granted for some women, we think it's an apt coincidence that demonstrates the cultural contribution by women.

"We are blessed in our gallery with some of the UK’s strongest women artists and it's a pleasure to share them with the city of York and its visitors."

Glew,, who lives in Brighton with her family and has a studio in her back garden, is best known for her distinctive paintings on fabric, using dye and stitch to paint, deconstruct and distress vintage materials in her own style of painting.

She started making artwork on flags and textiles in 2007 as a response to war, notably for Afghan Girl, which appeared later on the front cover of French newspaper Le Monde. This summer she comes to York with a show that blends the mythology that filled Glew’s life growing up in North Cornwall as “a weird grungy kid with a sketch book and a love of music" with the influence of her first visit to York in 2017.

"I was inspired by York’s Viking past woven throughout the city, so I used Norse mythology as the nucleus for the show," she says. "The strong Norse goddesses featured include Hel, goddess of the underworld; Freyja, goddess of sex, fertility, war and wealth; Nott, goddess of night, and Skadi, goddess of the hunt and winter.

"While researching, I was struck by how balanced the portrayal of women seemed to be; they are both light and dark, dangerous and caring, and not in any way superficial. The multifaceted trend of the gods, whereby they are both hard and soft, runs through the representational paintings in my solo show.

"Hel, for example, is an entertainer to the dead; she is half beauty, half skull, and is painted on a split skull textile applique using ornate Japanese gold-printed fabric and calico.”

Glew re-imagines Norse goddesses as screen stars, Hel becoming Marilyn Monroe and Lofn, goddess of forbidden love, being transformed into Rita Hayworth, while Britannia takes the form of Elizabeth Taylor.

Look out too for real characters from folklore in the York show: Boudicca, the fierce Celtic Queen, who led the uprising against the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in AD 60/61, and Grace O'Malley, the Irish Pirate Queen, who is portrayed on a Jolly Roger.

Symbolism and emblems occur throughout the Dark Tales show. In particular, Glew is noted for her distinctive use of flags; a Union flag and an American flag appear here alongside a Jolly Roger, applique skulls, snakes and deer horns, made by the artist.

"Using textiles as her medium, the work is unique in its process and making," says Clark. "No other artist uses dye and bleach in the same way as Glew, and by using these household chemicals, she achieves a ghostly image that seems to be ingrained in the cloth."

Having worked with bleach and dye since 2007, Glew has been commissioned by such brands as Armani, Ralph Lauren and Microsoft and her work is in the art collections of Red Bull, Saatchi and Mitsubishi Bank.

In all, she has exhibited in 150 exhibitions and international art fairs and had 14 solo shows; what a coup for The Art Of Protest to play host to her debut northern exhibition.