Royal Society of NSW News & Events

Royal Society of NSW News & Events

1258th OGM and open lecture

Pamela Griffith   “Women artists: barriers and frustrations”

   Pamela Griffith

   Artist, designer, master printer and author

Wednesday 1 November 2017
Union, University and Schools Club, 25 Bent Street, Sydney

Pamela Griffith shared some of the joys and challenges she has encountered as a female artist. Her talk was illustrated by images of her work and some works of women artists of the past. 

Females are often the model and rarely the artist, and this has led to some offensive and exploitative works around the female subject matter that have coloured the way people see women in art. It has also affected how women see themselves. Pamela speculated on where historically female artists acquired their training and how they were assisted to have an art career by their families and patrons. She showed how they overcame social difficulties and barriers to making art. She tracks what happened to their art.

The presentation attempted to explain art history’s omission of almost all women from its canon. There is an ongoing resistance of art museums to buying art made by women. Few women have solo shows before they are dead. Most women who go to art schools and make up the majority never have their work displayed in any big museums or bought for major collections. Does this mean that women at art schools are wasting their time?

Pamela Griffith is an an artist, designer, master printer and author. She has had over 100 one-woman exhibitions in over 30 galleries. Her work is included in National, State and Regional Gallery collections across Australia and in major corporate and private collections in Australia, Europe, USA and Asia. Major commissions include Bicentennial and Macquarie toiles; Mary McKillop toile; portraits of distinguished Australians such as Dame Joan Sutherland, Richard Bonynge, Sir William Dean, Cardinal George Pell, Professor Marie Bashir and Elena Kats-Chernin; numerous etching editions for corporations including Qantas, Comalco, Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet. She is also the author of over 80 articles and two books on art.

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