An exhibition featuring the works of a critically acclaimed photographer is opening at Abbot Hall art gallery next month.

Claude Cahun: Beneath this Mask, which will run from March 23 to August 3, brings together 42 of Cahun’s unique and challenging photos, exploring her personal interaction with gender and identity.

Born Lucy Schwob, the artist adopted the pseudonym Claude Cahun, a gender-neutral forename coupled with her grandmother's surname, rejecting what she believed were restrictive gender norms.

Speaking on her experiences with identity, Cahun once explained: "Masculine? Feminine? It depends on the situation. Neuter is the only gender that always suits me."

In her writing Cahun referred to herself as 'elle' (she), and interpretation for the exhibition follows her practice.

The Westmorland Gazette: Claude Cahun, Untitled, c.1928.Claude Cahun, Untitled, c.1928. (Image: Jersey Heritage)

Educated at the Sorbonne in Paris, where she immersed herself in the emergence of the surrealist movement, Cahun never formally joined the movement.

Surrealist leader André Breton referred to the artist as "one of the most curious spirits of our time".

According to Cahun, joining the group would require giving up her identity.

Aside from her life in France, Cahun also experienced significant periods abroad, fleeing impending Nazi occupation and settling in Jersey with her partner and collaborator, Marcel Moore.

It was here that she created some of her most iconic works: gender-defying, theatrical portrait photos.

Cahun’s talents remained largely unknown in her lifetime.

However, her work inspired many contemporary artists, including renowned figures like Cindy Sherman, Trish Morrissey, and Nan Goldin.The Westmorland Gazette: Claude Cahun, Je Tends Les Bras, 1931.Claude Cahun, Je Tends Les Bras, 1931. (Image: Jersey Heritage)

Helen Stalker, associate curator for Lakeland Arts, said: "We are excited to have the radical imagery of Claude Cahun on display at Abbot Hall.

"We want to provide a platform for the work and voices of the LGBTQIA+ community to be seen and heard."

For this exhibition, Lake Arts has partnered with Hayward Gallery Touring, who, along with Jersey Heritage, created the exhibition and presented it at the Women of the World Festival in 2015.

Visitors to Abbot Hall can explore Claude Cahun: Beneath this Mask from Wednesday through to Saturday, from 10am to 4pm.

Visit to prebook tickets.