Sheila: A Foundation for Women in Visual Art was officially launched in Perth yesterday (28 May). The initiative comes out of a swelling need for greater gender equality within the visual arts.
‘According to The Countess Report (a Sheila-funded project) women are 75 per cent of art school graduates but only 34 per cent of artists exhibited in our state museums and galleries. Gender inequality is apparent in art prizes, representation of female artists in media and the proportion of female artists represented in exhibitions at state museums,’ reminded Sheila Cruthers on the occasion of the launch.
Sheila aims to redress that in a multi-prong way: to provide scholarships for art historians and curators, assist the purchase and commission works by women artists, and run annual lecture and symposiums focused on women’s art….
“As revolutions go, this one got off to a quiet and unassuming start in the early 1970s. It was achieved slowly, one female photographer at a time, each hired by The New York Times for her talent with a camera and her desire to practice the best journalism possible.
The men who hired the first of those women quite likely weren’t thinking about altering the prevailing concepts of photojournalism. But over time, as more women were hired and gained acceptance, they began to push successfully for publication of images that were different, for the truths they saw in people and events, for assignments that had once been denied them and for assignments that had not been envisioned before….”
Help support ‘Untitled’
“… These numbers reinforce the long-standing notion that male photographers receive better deals overall: including, but not limited to, assignments, wages, positions, and exposure. And it’s not even that women don’t make the effort. As the same study found, they do, in fact, do so more than their male peers: more of them are university educated, more engaged in social media, more versatile in terms of technology used, and more digitally savvy.
Which is why it can get irritating and exhausting every time news like a prominent camera brand announcing not one, not two, but 32 brand ambassadors, with literally all of them being male photographers comes out….”
- The Phoblographer – Let’s Talk About the Gender Gap in Art and Photography, by Julien Matabuena
Tish Murtha, one of Magnum photojournalist David Hurn’s first students at the famous School of Documentary Photography in Newport, Wales, in the 1970s, was one of the finest documentary photographers of her generation but, in the all-too-usual manner, was ignored by the photography establishment until recently thanks to the tireless efforts of her daughter Ella Murtha, The Photographers’ Gallery, Bluecoat Press, Café Royal Books and others.
The course at The School of Documentary Photography was unique in Britain at the time and produced many fine photographers, a couple of whom later moved to Australia.
Others went on to fame and fortune, while Tish Murtha seemed to have disappeared into the background after initial early successes and commissions, dying prematurely in 2013.
Given the way female photographers have tended to be ignored and forgotten, it is wonderful to see that Tish Murtha is finally receiving the recognition that she deserved so much in her lifetime.
- British Culture Archive – Elswick Kids | Tish Murtha’s Striking Images of Working Class Newcastle in the late 1970s.
- Café Royal Books – Tish Murtha — Newport Doc Photo Class of ’78
- Creative Boom – Tish Murtha’s remarkable, tender photographs of social deprivation and instability in Britain
- Flashback – ‘Elswick Kids’ – Extraordinary Photos by the Late Tish Murtha
- The Guardian – That’s me in the picture: Glenn Murtha, 17, leaping out of a window in Newcastle, 1979
- The Photographers’ Gallery – Tish Murtha: Works 1976-1991
- Tish Murtha
- Wikipedia – Tish Murtha
Help support ‘Untitled’
Clicking on these affiliate links and purchasing through them helps us continue our work for ‘Untitled’.