‘Women's Work’ - Brisbane’s largest exhibition to date of women’s street art
‘WOMEN’S WORK’ is Brisbane’s largest exhibition to date of women’s street art, displaying leading female artists across 10 large scale, inner-city locations. The exhibition is led by all-female curatorial team Brisbane Art Matriarchs (BAM!) and presented alongside Brisbane City Council, Griffith University, and long term friends of NC, Brisbane Street Art Agency, The Culprit Club.
Brisbane’s local creatives powerhouses, Courtney Brims, Claire Tracey, Dominique Falla, Emma Wright, Lusid Art, Mosessa, Nicola Holly, Rachael Sarra, Rae Cooper, Sarah Hazlehurst, Tori-Jay Mordey and Zoe Porter, will hit the streets to tell their visual stories. ‘WOMEN’S WORK’ allows the spotlight to focus on the power of women within the arts community, encouraging the perception of artists in the creative sphere to shift towards a more inclusive space - and deservedly so! We spoke to one of the exhibition’s curators, Sarah Hazlehurst, to find out everything you need to know about the exhibition.
INTERVIEW: RUBY AVERY-DE WAAL / IMAGES: COURTESY OF THE BRISBANE CITY COUNCIL
Artists Left to Right: Courtney Brims / Lusid Art
What inspired the ‘WOMEN’S WORK’ exhibition and what drove the team to bring this idea to life?
There was a lot of personal driving forces behind the idea, but the main one was the actual coming together our curatorial team, Rae Cooper, Nicola Holly, Clarie Tracey and myself to pioneer a new pathway for women’s work to be exhibited in high-impact, large scale, limelight locations across Brisbane City. We were fueled by a fire to create positive change and offer equitable employment and exposure opportunities for women in the arts.
Do you feel there is much female comradery within the Brisbane female-identifying arts scene?
Absolutely! I think Brisbane in particular has such an overwhelmingly close community of creative women who work in support of one another and there is certainly a sense of loyalty, friendship and respect shared. I don’t think the comradery itself is gender specific though. I also feel the same way about a lot of the men I work with, and I’ve had a lot of male creatives inspire me and lift me up throughout my career!
“I think Brisbane in particular has such an overwhelmingly close community of creative women who work in support of one another and there is certainly a sense of loyalty, friendship and respect shared.”
Artists Left to Right: Mosessa / Domique Falla
However, there's something that really strengthens the ties of women supporting women in the arts and that is the mutual resilience. I know of a lot of women, myself included who have gone through heavy hardships professionally and personally relating back to gender inequality. Instead of letting that cause weakness, we’ve found the strength in ourselves to fight through a very cutthroat and competitive industry that’s not always nice and not always fair to women. Having that understanding that a lot of creative women have survived these hardships and come out the other end even stronger… that evokes a respect, an understanding and a resilience that’s binding.
As a female arts practitioner, do you find there is a gender divide within the arts community?
Since the launch of our exhibition, I’ve been asked this a lot. One of my co-curators Rae Cooper said it really well, explaining that it’s super easy for people to believe that gender equality is an issue that belongs in the 1950s. Some people think that it’s not relevant anymore because as a society, we’re leaps and bounds ahead of where we were, BUT the research still shows that women, especially in creative industries, are still getting paid less and don’t receive the same access to opportunities as men. It’s not an opinion, it’s fact and with this exhibition, we wanted to do something about it in a positive manner and set an industry standard for how creatives should be paid and displayed.
What has the response been like so far towards the exhibition?
It’s been overwhelmingly positive! We’ve had some crazy media coverage which has been wild, but the best response has been seeing the artists' reactions to their own work on the walls throughout the city. A lot of the girls we commissioned had never worked with large-scale formats before this show, or been exhibited in areas this prominent so that was really, really rewarding to see them realise that opportunities like this aren't out of reach.
The artworks will be on display and free for viewers to experience each day from 12th August - 01 December. Curated walking tours and public program talks and events TBA.
Eagle Lane - Alex Saba (Lusid Art)
Edison Lane - Courtney Brims
Edward Street - Dominique Falla
Edward Street - Claire Tracey
Fish Lane - Rae Cooper
Giffin Lane - Zoe Porter
Hutton Lane - Emma Wright
Irish Lane - Rachael Sarra
King George Square Car Park - Mosessa
William Jolly Bridge - Tori-Jay Mordey
Above Artists Left to right: Zoe Porter / Claire Tracey / Emma Wright / Rachael Saara