As a young girl, I watched my mother’s relentless battle for equal opportunities, equitable rights, and fair compensation in her career as an attorney. Her determination was unwavering, even to the point of occasionally sleeping in her office to take a call in the middle of the night. The year she billed more hours and won more cases than any other attorney in her firm, she was told she got lucky. Finally, when she attained the coveted partner position, fate dealt a cruel blow as she received a stage 4 cancer diagnosis that same year. Her life was hanging in the balance, and the higher income and status she had tirelessly strived for suddenly became meaningless.
After her untimely passing, I told myself I never wanted to work that hard. In my early twenties, I moved to Spain, where people don’t live to work, but work to live.
I was searching for my own unique path, one marked by reduced stress and disillusionment. After years of studying and exploring more traditional careers, I finally arrived at the conclusion that my true calling resides in the ceramics studio.
I wanted to be an artist. A career that was a stark departure from my mother’s profession. Yet, I soon discovered that certain aspects of the field mirrored her struggles. Women artists globally contend with issues of inadequate compensation, undervaluation, and underappreciation of their work. It appears that the battle for recognition and equity is an enduring one.
Each year on March 8th, we are prompted to reflect on the ongoing fight for women’s rights and the uncompleted journey towards gender equality. This date also provides us with a chance to unite in honoring the global accomplishments of women.
Art for International Women’s Day
I usually create artwork to mark the occasion, and this year is no exception. I am currently working on a sculpture that portrays the form of a pregnant woman. This project is my first attempt at constructing a coil-built sculpture of this size.
My work revolves around two primary themes: nature and women. While the inspiration drawn from nature is evident and easily comprehensible, the rationale behind my focus on women is a bit more complex. Upon more reflection, I’m beginning to understand the profound impact my mother’s challenges had on me as a young girl. I now perceive the strength of women and empathize deeply with our shared struggles.
Embarking on the journey of motherhood myself and supporting numerous friends through the intricate challenges of fertility, childbirth, and the early stages of motherhood intensifies my admiration and concern. It’s possible that these experiences serve to amplify the narratives I’ve carried with me from my own upbringing.
My artwork has become a vessel for the myriad emotions within me—my frustrations, anger, resentment, grief, and sorrow. These sentiments flow from my subconscious, finding expression through my hands into the clay. While I’m uncertain about the ultimate direction of this new artistic journey, I’m genuinely excited about developing it further.
Supporting women artists
I’d like to take a moment to recognize and thank all of the individuals and organizations that are fighting to get women artists recognized and honored in the art world. Here are just a few: NAWA, WomanMade, Manhattan Arts International, All She Makes, Where Are the Women Artists, Art Girl Rising.
On this International Women’s Day, let us take a moment to reflect on the remarkable achievements of women worldwide. The progress we’ve witnessed is truly inspiring, a testament to woman’s strength and patience. As we celebrate the art crafted by female creators, we pay tribute to their unwavering dedication and courage. Their hands craft beauty, provided inspiration, and offer valuable insights for us all to cherish and learn from.
Incorporating their spirit into our actions, let us express gratitude for the trials and tribulations endured by the women who preceded us and draw strength from their legacy as we continue the journey toward greater equality. To every mother who has blazed a trail for us, we extend our heartfelt gratitude. May the world of art exemplify, through its rich diversity of inspirations and styles, that each voice has the power to contribute to collective progress. Together, we can make a difference.