SUSIE LAWSON IN CONVERSATION WITH ARTISTS SARAH MAPLE AND SCARLETT BOWMAN
SOHO FARMHOUSE, 8 MARCH 2017
“The men liked to put me down as the best woman painter. I think I’m one of the best painters.” Georgia O’Keeffe
To celebrate International Women’s Day 2017 and the theme #BeBoldForChange, Director Susie Lawson chaired a talk by two emerging female artists, Sarah Maple and Scarlett Bowman. Hosted at Soho Farmhouse, the discussion explored the working practice and experiences of these two passionate and talented female practitioners working within a male dominated world.
According to the National Museum of Women in the Arts, 51% of visual artists working in the US are women. Meanwhile, only 5% of artworks in major museums walls in the US are by women artists and only 2 out of 100 of the most expensive artists of all time were women. Having worked with artists throughout my career, it has become apparent that historical female artists were overshadowed by men and the secondary art market, and the stats above reflect this. However, the climate is changing and as Scarlett and Sarah illustrated, there is no longer a need to differentiate but celebrate and support women’s ascendance in the art world.
Well received by the audience, the talk explored Sarah and Scarlett’s definitions of success; how they have been received in the art world and whether they felt their work received different responses because they are women.
Maple’s bold feminist work illustrated the topic fantastically. Her provocative investigations into what it is to be both a woman and a Muslim in 21st Britain is both humorous and seductive and undoubtedly aroused the Soho Farmhouse audience.