To accompany it’s current exhibition Underneath, in collaboration with ArtleadHer, Lawrence Alkin Gallery recently held a panel to discuss Gender Bias towards women artists in the art world. Chaired by Susan Mumford, founder of the Association of Women Art Dealers, artists Elizabeth Waggett and Zoe Grace joined ArtleadHer’s founder Mashonda Tifrere to discuss inequalities between male and female artists, with art adviser Anda, providing a male perspective on a female-centric stage.
Mumford began the discussion at the Hospital Club with the definition of the word ‘bias’, explaining that we cannot do something until we are aware of it. She further stated the importance of women in higher positions being aware of this bias. Anda stepped in to add that in the luxury buying sector, most of his clients are women, so it would make sense for there to be more women in the industry.
The two artists on the panel, Waggett and Grace, provided interesting discourse on the ‘loneliness’ they felt in an art world that is predominately dominated by male artists. Waggett explained that for a long time she was extremely worried about bringing up the issue of gender bias. Grace who started out as a street artist, explained that particularly early on in her career, she was extremely lonely as a female in a very male-oriented domain. She then went on to talk about her experience ‘swimming up stream’ into an environment with more women being ‘such a relief.’
While the panel all agreed that the discussion was ‘not about not respecting men’, we should be doing more to give women artists a voice. Tifrere explained that with ArtleadHer, she seeks to provide women with a voice and also educate them about artworks in the gallery, to research into how many female artists are on display.
Towards the end of the discussion, Grace commented on the reaction she sometimes receives when people find out what she is making on her work. She explains that she is often met with shock, which she suspects would not happen if she were male. The whole panel agreed that it should not matter about who made an artwork. Its value should not alter because of the gender of the artist. Grace quite aptly ended with saying that ‘[we] are not here to throw men out but to restore the balance.’
LIZZY VARTANIAN COLLIER
A visually poetic journey through the eyes of the international woman Featuring 11 female artists from across the globe
Exclusively curated by ArtLeadHER for Lawrence Alkin Gallery
Until May 6th
IMAGE CREDIT: CHRIS KING