• Rose-Marie Marshall-Jane

The Underrepresented - Diversity in the art world.

* My research into galleries and competitions showed the lack of diversity of artists of colour, gender and identities. This has also been highlighted by a number of Instagram posts I have seen regarding art institutions saying they understand their lack of diversity in their approach to art and art history and that they intend to change this. The comments from Instagram users on these posts mention again and again the inequality of these institutions, it seems a lot of people out there like Yvonne and myself are disappointed by their approach. If you have any thoughts and opinions please do contact me and I will do my best to include your thoughts into my future blog posts. We must stand together.*

As two female artists, we can sometimes see the inequality in the art world between men and women. When researching galleries, art agents and consultants (something that I do often) I noticed there is a lack of diversity in some galleries across the UK. Now, I’m not saying this is every gallery, only the ones that I have researched.

In my opinion, art should be based on skill, quality and concept. Not where you were born, what education you have or what you identify as. I don’t care if you have been to art college or if you dropped out of school. Does it really matter what education you’ve had when it comes to art? I’m not saying it doesn’t help in some cases. But if you’re a talented person who can create beautiful art without going to art school, why is it to galleries and agents these things seem to matter?

Just as I think education doesn’t dictate if you can be an artist, neither do I think it matters what gender you are. But I do find it disappointing when I see multiple galleries not representing enough diversity of artists and also different styles of art. There are plenty, loads of artists of diversity that are amazingly talented but aren’t getting enough professional exposure in the art world. I'm sure it's not for the lack of trying.

This is not a new issue. In fact, there’s a whole movement in the 60's and 70's called Feminist Art which addresses this common problem. It’s just shocking that in today’s world we still have to deal with inequality in life and art.

Mary Cassatt - A Mandolin Player

Last year, I attended a set of workshops designed to help women in business. The point I found most insightful was the lack of confidence women have when we try to promote ourselves. All of us who attended have felt this way at some point in our lives. On the other hand, men seem less aware of these problems and will put themselves forward without any worries. Of course, this is not that case for every man out there.

This is not one sided, galleries and agents aren't all to blame. If more female artists come forward and more people supported female artists it certainly would help to level out the playing field. Don't you think?

Frida Kahlo - Self Portrait with Thorn Necklace

Over the next few weeks I’m going to highlight inspirational, diverse artists of past and present. I will feature galleries that have a wide representation of artists and celebrate women and diversity and their roles in the art world.

If you have any recommendations, thoughts and opinions or you’d like to be featured as a female artists please do get in touch via our contact page!

My next blog post will be a brief look into the life and work of Mary Cassatt, subscribe to out emailing list to be the first to know when it is published!