WOMEN IN ART | Video documentary series

WOMEN IN ART | Video documentary series

For the past couple of months I have been working on this passion project of mine. Women In Art | Video documentary series. I had the idea late in 2017 as a way to try to get myself out of my living room/house and meeting people again. I was stuck, I didn't know how to re-enter the world after two total knee replacements and a bout of pretty debilitating depression. I also nearly lost my little video production business, and it was breaking my heart.

I love the slow movement, the valuing of hand made things, the ritual of gifting and passing down much loved art and objects, and I had been obsessing over (okay, stalking) several artists and makers on Instagram for months. Being an artist of many disciplines myself; abstract sumi painting, photography, video production, I have been trying to make a living with my hands my whole life, with varying success. It is a gut reaction, it is a deep need to create, that makes an artist an artist. It can be a really hard way to make a living, but it is also a most gratifying and exhilarating way, especially when it is shared with and appreciated by so many others. I wondered how other women were doing it, how they are managing their multi-faceted lives. Were they supporting themselves solely with their art? Were they doing it for pleasure but not money, were they able to charge appropriately for their work? Were they managing to find the time needed to dedicate to an art career? It is usually a solitary activity, creating art; so I know it sometimes can clash with the needs of a family, partners, and other work.

How were others doing it? I needed to know, and I needed to get out of my living room.

I started to reach out to makers and artists of whatever attracted me personally. Printmakers, ceramicists, landscape painters, abstract expressionists, sculptors, writers, makers, thinkers, gallery curators. Mostly women, but also a few men. I found that I wanted and needed to separate my projects about makers and artists. So I am doing a project about makers, male and female, as well (first film to be released soon)! The makers project will feature on Patreon, a website for artists and those that want to support them.

I never in my wildest dreams thought these women, most of whom I had never met, would react to this idea the way that they have. I received overwhelming support and so many "YES, Yes please's, I want to be involved! " I was and am so grateful to all the women for their Yes's and for their patience.

The Women In Art: Video documentary series, involves 12-15 women that are practicing their art on a regular basis, some just beginning their journeys, some experienced with years of exhibiting. I wanted to know all of their stories, their processes. They are all relevant and they have all taught me something important about working as a female artist and maker in this world of mass produced, throw away things and male dominated art establishment practices.

This initial Blog post is really about finally putting the project out there in the world, making my intention known: to make us all aware of the immense contribution female artists make to our daily lives. I hope to awaken the curiosity and wonder about artists once more. I hope to encourage the public to get behind our female artists; buy their art, support them, share their posts, help them make the living they deserve, so they can support themselves and their families and know they are contributing to the world in a meaningful way, whilst doing what they love.

Our first artist film has been released, before this Blog was ready, so I am reintroducing you to Stephanie Jane Rampton. Making Stephanie's film was an exercise in patience and perseverance. I am indebted to Stephanie for her unwavering support and patience in making her film. It was hard (physically and mentally) to make this first film in the series, but Stephanie was so, so patient and calm and I am in awe of her talent and know you will be too. The amount of painstaking work that goes into the production of a plate and then the pulling of each print in an edition, is quite unbelievable; most of us would not have the tenacity, the drive, to complete this kind of art even once. Stephanie is driven to etch, to make her art in an almost urgent way. Please enjoy this first film in the series, Women In Art.

In the next post, I will start to introduce you to the other artists in the project. I have been working with many of them already, storing up precious video clips of their thoughts and at work.

It is not an easy thing to be filmed or even photographed. Especially in the vulnerable position of being creative. So please support our women in art and share their films. Buy their art, let them know how much you love their stories as we release them.

I have almost completed the second film in the series and will introduce our artist in the next post.

Thank you for your support, it means the world to us.

Jennifer Parlanti