B. 1986

Rafaela de Ascanio studied at Central Saint Martins (2004), The Courtauld Institute of Art (MA, 2010) and Turps Banana Painting Programme (2019). Her solo exhibition Universal Yearnings opened at Liliya Art Gallery in May 2021. Two-person exhibitions include Back to Back, Bowes Parris Gallery (2021), The Deccan Traps, Aindrea Contemporary (2019), and The Body is a Blessed Juicy Fruit, Lamb (2018), and recent group shows Cracked, Tristan Hoare (2021), Focus on the Female, Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Monster/Beauty: An Exploration of the Female/Femme Gaze, Lychee One (2020) and Paintings On, And With Paper, Cob Gallery (2020). De Ascanio received the Young Masters Emerging Artist Award (2021).


De Ascanio’s paintings and sculptures work in tandem, compiling layers of iconography and 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 sculpts 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.



Glaze and underglaze on ceramic

19 × 15 cm


Glaze on Stoneware

46 x 38 x 40 cm

Cavalier’s Garden

Glazed stoneware ceramic

45 x 60 x 30 cm

Phalli Fragments

Glaze and underglaze on stoneware

30 x 34 x 34 cm


Glaze and underglaze on ceramic

26 x 22 cm