This year’s Art on a Postcard (AoaP) International Women’s Day Auction has a stellar line up of female identifying talent and it being our third we can safely say it’s an annual event now. We are delighted to announce this auction will once again be hosted with Dreweatts.
As part of Thanet’s POW (Power of Women) Festival, hosted on International Women’s Day at Turner Contemporary’s restaurant, Barletta, a panel of women will each talk about the value that society places on women’s creativity and what this question means to them.
The question will seek to emphasise the word value, a lot of women report feeling a sense of guilt in getting time to themselves to create rather than think of it as a necessary outlet of expression that will help them cope with busy lives. There are also female creatives who earn their living from their outlet but find it curtailed by children, even these days. Whatever your background or situation, as a woman is your freedom to create valued?
The panel will be chaired by model and Sunday Times journalist Sydney Lima; the panelists are Fee Doran, fashion designer; Eli Goldstone, author and writer; Catherine Chinatree, artist; and Twinkle Troughton, artist.
Sydney Lima is a journalist and presenter. Sydney launched the Spotify Original podcast Sex, Lies & DM Slides with Gizzie Erskine based off of an article she wrote for British Vogue, ‘Model Sydney Lima Speaks Out On The Dark Underbelly Of Instagram.' The series quickly trended on Spotify and features the likes of Munroe Bergdorf, Lily Allen, Ruby Wax and Rose McGowan. She has written for The Sunday Times Style Magazine, Tatler, British Vogue, i-D, Wonderland, HERO, and LOVE. She has also worked with brands like Chanel, Mulberry, De Beers, Cartier, Salvatore Ferragamo, Christian Louboutin, Sandro, YSL Beauty Club, Reformation and MAC. Sydney Lima; as a woman is your freedom to create valued?
‘I will summarise my answer to that question with an email I received the other day from a broadcast channel regarding a pitch I had been developing over two years. After no response from them initially i sent a few follow up emails, but to no avail. Finally a male producer piped up asking where we were at with it all. Within the hour i had a response. The email? ‘Hi Heydon, Thank you so much for your pitch...’
Eli Goldstone is a writer who lives in Margate. Her novel Strange Heart Beating was published by Granta and won a Betty Trask prize in 2018. She has written for the Guardian, the New Statesman and the TLS and her TV credits include Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe, Philomena Cunk and Netflix’s BAFTA nominated Death to 2020.
Eli Goldstone, as a woman is your freedom to create valued?
The freedom to create is the thing I value most in my life. For a long time I thought that my work was an incidental luxury, but I realised recently that it is the key to everything: if I’m free to create then I’m free to experience contentment, connection, and to be present in an overwhelming world. Almost everything that I do now is in service to my creative freedom.
Catherine Chinatree is a Margate Based multidisciplinary visual artist, who is interested in the representational idea of shared “reality” with a focus on identity, dualism, and cultural fluidity. The work is supported with research in Anthropology, Social surrealism and human behaviour. ‘Most of my inspiration comes from the outside world of everyday life, our daily activities, symbolism/ Rituals, and the people I meet. My practice is both studio and outdoor based.’ Catherine Chinatree, as a woman is your freedom to create valued?
Time is limited, and being a single mum artist, I have to be creative with my time, and for this I feel no guilt whatsoever. However the feeling of guilt to just do nothing at all, to take time out of any creative input is real. The short answer to whether as a woman is my freedom to create valued would be No, yet I believe it is not so black and white like that, as other factors like social/ cultural backgrounds and circles etc play a role in this. I mould my life around my practice, and feel I have had to prove myself and explain more why my creativity is an important part of not just my life, but for society. What I understand from my friend’s experience who don’t work in the creative sector, is that they feel any creative project is not a priority, even though just the idea of being able to do it fills them with a sense of joy.
Fee Doran is a fashion designer, she gained notoriety in the 1990s working with pop stars such as Duran Duran, Kylie Minogue, Madonna, Katy Perry, Florence & The Machine to name a few. She created fashion label Mrs Jones (after marrying Mr Jones), and collaborated and worked with brands such as Fred Perry and Oxfam.
Fee Doran, as a woman is your freedom to create valued?
To be honest that question really threw me... I haven’t thought about such things in a long time… I guess the truth is the older and uglier you get as a woman the more seriously you are taken in business. Annoyingly it was when I was young and hot I was most on fire with my best ideas and had tonnes of energy to see them through but definitely wasn’t valued or taken seriously back then, I always felt shoved under a rug. My ideas and designs would be used but no one would give me any credit. I guess Instagram would have been really helpful in the 90s.
Twinkle Troughton is an artist living and working in Margate. Using oil on paper, her paintings are inspired by human and historical traces in our landscapes which captivate her. Twinkle has exhibited both in the UK and internationally and has work in private collections. Recent solo exhibitions include Paper Gallery in Manchester, and Haeckel's Home in Margate.
Alongside her practice Twinkle also curates exhibitions, writes, and is the newly appointed editor of Margate Mercury after 5 years of being the magazine's Arts Editor.
Twinkle Troughton, as a woman is your freedom to create valued?
When I heard the awards at the Brits were going gender neutral my initial thoughts were this was real progress, because really whether what is being made is any good or not shouldn't be impacted by what gender the artist is. That's in an ideal world though...and what I still see in the world around me are women fighting for time and resources to create, and in some cases even choosing between having a family or not. Society is still imbalanced in favour of men, and so there is still a need for events like all-female exhibitions and festivals like POW! You only need to have a short walk around the National Gallery to see art history is told through the eyes of men, experiences and view-points of women rarely get a look in.
I've had mixed experiences in my own life; When I was in a female fronted band, even though we put the band together, drove it forwards, and co-wrote the music we would often be called 'groupies' and receive derogatory comments about only being in a band to get near male musicians. But I have also been incredibly fortunate in that I have always been surrounded by a creative family, and have friends and peers who have encouraged me to create, not as a woman but as an artist. Although perhaps the fact I see that as 'incredibly fortunate' is very telling. And my awareness of the need to platform and highlight creative women has meant I have curated a few all-women exhibitions too.