Innovative artist, Adia Wahid, and finalist for the Contemporary British Painting Prize, Katrina Blannin, have spoken out on the place of women and technology in the art world at a debate hosted by Stellar International Art Foundation, which covered breaking out of the confines of gender politics.
Held at the Church House in Westminster on March 5 for International Women’s Day, the event was curated to discuss the value of art as a force for cultural reflection, and the value of female artists as wider social and political commentators.
In line with International Women’s Day, the conversation took a critical look at patriarchal society’s expectation that female artists produce inherently feminine’ work and comment solely on gender politics. Working to challenge this notion, Adia encouraged female artists to discuss other prominent issues of the day – such as the growing role of technology in our daily lives.
Artists are political commentators
Adia Wahid said: “Artists are political commentators and they should be allowed to shed light on what they believe to be the biggest topics of their age. For some this may be gender politics, but for others it could be political or social themes considered ‘male’ in nature. My own work for instance, inspired by the English mathematician and writer Ada Lovelace, explores the interaction between the technological world and the human body, and the positive and negative reactions that can arise from this encounter.”
Stellar Art Foundation chose Wahid’s work because of the unique way it comments on the current status of humankind’s day to day dependence on smartphones and computers, and the algorithms which power them. At the event, Adia encouraged the audience to understand the importance and relevance of algorithms in our lives but also the risk that this poses to the creative industries.
Of the event, Adia said: “I am incredibly honored to have taken a leading role at Stellar International Art Foundation’s prestigious annual event. I hope I have given you a renewed confidence in your own individuality as an artist and the value of your artwork to societal narratives.”
Championing artistic talent
Founder of Stellar Art, Anita Choudhrie said: “Stellar has long championed artistic talent regardless of background or gender and we hope that our latest event is another demonstration of our commitment to female cultural expression and exploration. We are proud to support an artist who is pushing the boundaries of artistic expression, and embracing technology and science, which are disciplines women are vastly underrepresented.”
Established in 2008, Stellar comprises over 600 works dating from the late 19th Century to the present day. As a collection, Stellar gives insight into the cultural viewpoint of individuals with diverse understandings of the world. As Stellar has evolved, with society traditionally dictated by male dominated narratives, the diaspora of female artists with strong social relevance has become the foundation’s main focus.
top image: from left to right: Anita Choudhrie, Katrina Blannin, Adia Wahid, Anya Zakharova.
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