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International Women's Day

March is Women’s History Month in the UK (a time to honour the remarkable achievements of women who have shaped our world) and Friday 8th March is International Women’s Day, which this year takes as its theme ‘Inspire Inclusion’ with the aim of collectively forging a more diverse, equitable and inclusive environment for women where difference is valued.  

Stuck for celebration plans?  Why not visit one of the exhibitions currently showcasing the work of female artists.  In London, you can take your pick from: Women in Revolt!,  

Tate Britain’s groundbreaking survey of more than 100 British women artists from 1970 to 1990 (this show will be familiar to those of you who attended the OCASA study event in February, but it transfers to Edinburgh’s National Galleries Scotland: Modern in May before going to the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester in March 2025); Tate Modern’s Yoko Ono: Music of the Mind retrospective; the Barbara Kruger display Thinking of You.  I Mean Me.  I Mean You at Serpentine South (featuring iconic works like ‘Your body is a battleground’ alongside reinterpretations); or the Royal Academy’s presentation of works by the Neoclassical painter Angelica Kauffmann

Further afield, the Hepworth Wakefield is staging the first major exhibition of Singaporean-British sculptor and printmaker Kim Lim’s work since 1999 (Kim Lim: Space, Rhythm & Light), and Newcastle’s Laing Art Gallery is exploring the life and career of pioneering photographer Yevonde (Yevonde: Life and Colour).  Meanwhile, a UK first is taking place at Manchester’s esea contemporary in its show devoted to the artist and filmmaker Jane Jin Kaisen (Jane Jin Kaisen: ‘Halmang’), who weaves oceanic cosmology and the landscape of Jeju Island together to explore (via a transnational feminist lens) how modernisation erodes memory.  

Students in the Bristol area should also look out for the work of feminist Brenda Prince in the Martin Parr Foundation’s exhibition One Year! Photographs from the Miners’ Strike 1984-85.  A member of the Format Photographers Agency (founded in 1983, it was the only agency that consisted of and promoted the work of women photographers, encouraging their creativity and career development), Prince documented the strike from the miners’ wives’ perspective (having made clear that she was “fed up with the way women were constantly misrepresented and stereotyped”).  She spent 18 months among the mining communities of Nottinghamshire, focusing on the vital role played by these women, such as their presence on the picket line, managing food distribution and fundraising, noting how they became more aware and politicised.  (You can read more in this interview.)  

Prince’s observation chimes with this year’s International Women’s Day declaration, that by inspiring others to understand women’s inclusion (whether it’s in the workplace or in decision making) we not only forge a better world, but also “when women themselves are inspired to be included, there’s a sense of belonging, relevance and empowerment”. 

Image Credits:

Barbara Kruger: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You., (installation view, 1 February – 17 March 2024, Serpentine South) Photo: George Darrell. Courtesy the artist and Serpentine Galleries, London

Women’s’ picket at Bevercotes Colliery, night shift, 11pm. Nottingham, February 1985. © Brenda Prince

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Diana Ali
Diana Ali

This is great. Thank you Julia!

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