The title of this exhibition is inspired by the American actress/director Amy Lyndon and her response to a question about her gender and her work: "Yes I'm a woman and I also direct". Her comment emphasised that Lyndon should not be defined either by her work or her gender, that the two could co-exist without being dependant on each-other and that her career was just one facet of her life.
Helen Clapcott can’t identify with the word ‘artist’. Mary Mabbutt has said more than once (in jest) that “Rembrandt didn’t have to put up with this”. Sarah Carvell sees the arrival of the occasional cup of tea to her studio as a significant achievement. Sue Howells describes herself as a housewife who picks up a brush every day.
Painters all, they are four of ten taking part in a new group show, I Also Paint, at Hale’s Gateway Gallery exploring what it is to be a woman in art. The show refers to the fact that women’s lives are often complex and multi-faceted, balancing their own needs and desires with those of others. Even for women without children, there can be many time-consuming ties and commitments that leave them feeling their work is a postscript rather than the main event.
The exhibition not only showcases a huge diversity of themes, styles and techniques but in presenting these artists’ work together it brings to light a shared groundedness that emanates from all of the work.
In the final analysis, it is the quality of the art and not the gender that counts. We are confident that in this show, we have brought together some outstanding paintings by artists with outstanding reputation and pedigree.