Real Families is a major exhibition exploring the intricacies of families and family relationships through the eyes of artists.

Over the past 50 years, Western ideas of what makes a family and how family life is experienced, have been transformed by advances in science and by changes in social attitudes and law. Developed in collaboration with the world-leading Centre for Family Research at the University of Cambridge, the exhibition shows how the joys, tensions and transitions in families have little to do with conforming to traditional structures. Instead, acceptance, rejection, conflict, and comfort arise from relationships within family groups of all kinds, and through connections with the outside world.

Painting, photography, video, sculpture and installations by artists including Paula Rego, Chantal Joffe, JJ Levine, Lucian Freud and Tracey Emin tell moving and enduring stories of intimacy, alienation and everything in between.

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Image: Chantal Joffe, Self-portrait combing Esme’s hair, 2019 © Chantal Joffe / Victoria Miro