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International Women’s Day Interview with LWA Female Artists

International Women’s Day Interview with LWA Female Artists
8 March, 2021

International Women’s Day takes place today (8 March 2021) and is a global celebration of the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.

UN Women announces the theme for International Women’s Day, 8 March 2021 (IWD 2021) as, Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.”

The theme celebrates the tremendous efforts by women and girls around the world in shaping a more equal future and recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Here at LivingwithArt Singapore we want to take the opportunity to celebrate some of the inspirational female artists represented by our gallery. Amidst busily painting and creating new artworks, our artists shared with us what International Women’s Day meant to them.

What does the International Women’s Day theme, “Women in leadership: Achieving an equal future in a COVID-19 world.” mean for you in your work life?

Diane: It’s being able to succeed as woman despite all odds and to have the chance and opportunities to achieve your dreams.

Renetta:  For me it meant breaking with fears, going out to earn a living in a sick world and redefine myself as worker. From a place of exposure and very strong challenges everyday, and after one whole year, i got out of such a challenge successfully.

Ellie: I truly believe that, by building a better world, more inclusive and supportive towards women, their organizations and networks that represent them, will ultimately shape the post-pandemic future. Hopefully, this change of tide may bring more opportunities to women artists, like myself. More opportunities for representations and installations opportunities.

Samantha: I believe we still have a long time to achieving an equal future, but I continue to build my business and collaborate with both forward thinking and supportive men and women here in Singapore. I continue to fight for my place in the art world. I believe Covid has enabled many people to see the true value of art. 


Why did you choose to become an artist?

Diane: I’ve always enjoy art, in terms of doing it myself and teaching. Art has always created this space for me to express myself and be creative. Art is also a way to communicate myself in a much more interesting way to the world. 

Renetta: Because I love being able to express myself through my artworks and having the chance to leave those expressions to others. It's like being a mother, it means everything.

Ellie:  I think, in my case, in the beginning it was not a conscious decision to become an artist, although in one way or another I had always been in love with different expressions of art. Sometimes I feel that art chose me. l I come from the island of Crete in Greece, our school trips were to the Minoan palace. Art for me were the mesmerising frescoes and ceramics of the Minoan civilization, their vibrant colours of fish, dolphins, princes and seas, the beautiful representations of matriarchal dynamic Minoan women, the olive trees. I started playing with colours as a child, trying to create these different colours for the one and only dress I had for my doll using everything else, except real colours. After exploring different ways of expressing through art in my adult life, tango, yoga, literature I found myself plunging into the unpredictable world of colours.  I guess my artistic journey kind of feeds my soul, it takes me to unknown paths, to unexpected surprises and I try to tell my little stories through this visual expression.


Samantha: My advice would be go for it. Stay true to yourself and find your own style and voice. Find a community and inspire and support each other. Being an artist can be quite lonely so finding like-minded people who will support you is a must.

What’s the most important piece of advice you’d give to a woman thinking of starting a career as an artist?

Diane: Learn and explore different types of art so you can find what is the right one for you. Keep practicing your skill and find your unique style. Don’t be afraid to sell your art. 

Renetta: I would say follow your heart and never under any circumstances lower your arms, as they say, if you don’t work for your dreams you'll work for the other's

Ellie: The most important piece of advice would be to always remind yourself that your work is beautiful and needed, it is what makes you whole and gives you the opportunity to contribute to your family and society.


Samantha: My advice would be go for it. Stay true to yourself and find your own style and voice. Find a community and inspire and support each other. Being an artist can be quite lonely so finding like-minded people who will support you is a must.

Do you think there’s a stereotype attached to female artist?

Diane: Yes, I believe that people often stereotype that female artists can’t make it big with their art and have to rely financially on their partner though I think that’s not true as I’ve meet and seen women who are killing it in terms of art. 

Renetta: No, I think every person is different and authenticity should be the best stereotype

Ellie: We cannot deny the facts that prove ongoing bias in gallery representation, auction prices, and museum solo shows despite the feministic movements. Female artists can be associated with specific genres of art which may not be considered of the same value as the male genres of art. This contributes to the gender inequality in artistic valuation. There have been a lot of different movements and groups, like the Guerilla girls, trying to address these issues and we see more and more women finding their position in the contemporary art world. The recent #metoo movement has been very powerful in many parts of the world and I believe we will see its positive effect for women’s role in the art scene, in the near future. It is important to embrace the difference of experiences of male and female artists and understand that their forms of art are equally valuable and important.

Samantha: I do not think there is a stereotype attached to a female artist. I think all artists are very unique so it is hard to pigeonhole them. Unfortunately, though, museums and galleries still tend to display far more work from male artists and higher price tags are often attributed to the work of male artists at auctions etc. 


On International Women’s Day, what is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Diane: Always dream big and work hard for your dreams, don’t be afraid to go after your goals. Be fearless. 

Renetta: Take advices but, never let yourself to be carried away by other's opinions and follow your heart, that's the key.   

Ellie: Trust your unique voice and visions, develop your work as much as you can and never be complacent.

Samantha: I would say know your worth and know your value. Never be told you can’t be something because of your gender. The world needs more art so go out and create it and never apologize for it. There is a place in the world for every artist.