Torre Abbey
Saturday 2 April to Sunday 5 June 2022

Torre Abbey welcomes a brand-new exhibition celebrating women who have battled against the odds to change the world around them. This bold, colourful, educational and historically-inspired exhibition features the works of Nigerian-born Doncaster artist, curator, and art advisor Chinwe Russell.

It gives an insight into the lives of some incredible women from around the world, whose work in different sectors have had a massive impact on the contemporary world and continue to do so.

The collection contains some well-known historical figures such as Marie Curie, Elizabeth I and Florence Nightingale, but most importantly, it also contains many lesser-known women whose works continue to shape our daily lives.

These include Gerty Cori, who won a Nobel Prize for her work on understanding carbohydrates and Nwanyeruwa, who was involved in the Women’s War in Nigeria and inspired other women to start political movements. Her actions were one of many factors which eventually led to Nigerian independence.

Chinwe Russell says: “In 2018, I watched a Netflix series called ‘Magnificent Century.’ This was the beginning. In that series, I discovered the incredible story of Hurrem Sultan, an Ottoman queen. The story traced the rise of this young ambitious slave who battled against all odds to become the official queen of Suleiman the Magnificent.

“How did a slave girl become the queen of one of the most important empires in the world? The story of Hurrem was the inspiration behind this collection; women who battled against all odds to change the world around them.”

Carefully selected from hundreds of possible candidates, spanning from the 1500s to this century, this collection celebrates all that represents strength, courage, perseverance, and determination. This exhibition is a strong reminder of the incredible role that women play around the world.

Chinwe Russell is a Nigerian-born artist based in South Yorkshire whose bold narrative style has brought a string of accolades to her name. In addition to developing her own thriving art practice, Chinwe has brought her passion, energy, and creativity to bear on helping to revive the visual arts sector in her adopted town of Doncaster.

She has been a finalist at the Global Arts Awards, was selected for the Other Art Fair’s “Not 30% Project” and her work has been featured in a collection by Saatchi art online as well as exhibited at Shanghai International Art Fair. Her work has been selected for exhibition at the prestigious Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition in 2019 and 2021.

Chinwe also finds the time to focus on her own creativity. Her narrative artistic style has brought a string of accolades to her name. Often historical in nature, Chinwe’s work uses bold, bright colours to depict subjects evocative of deep reflection and emotions. Her naïve, intuitive style can be found both in public and private collections in the UK and abroad.

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Infrastructure, Environment and Culture, said: “On the back of the welcome news that Torre Abbey has secured almost £500,000 from the Museum Estate and Development Fund (MEND), it’s wonderful to see the Abbey hosting another fascinating and inspirational exhibition. The venue is now very much Torbay’s thriving centre for the arts and I would encourage everyone to go and see the exhibition and in turn support the work they do.”    

20 Women Who Changed the World runs until 5 June and is included with Torre Abbey Admission. Torre Abbey is open Tuesday to Sunday, from 10am till 5pm (last entry 3.45pm).  

To find out more, including how you can join the 1196 Club and enjoy unlimited entry for the year, visit

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