Founded in 2013, Melbourne-based non-profit The Global Women’s Project aims to empower women around the world through access to education, economic resources, and leadership opportunities. Working predominantly in Cambodia and Nepal, the group partners with local woman-led grassroots organisations to help lift communities out of poverty. So it makes sense to stage a fundraising art show featuring portraits of iconic and innovative women.
Featuring portraits by 39 artists,Trailblazing Women features stunning depictions of a diverse group of feminist icons: from Nina Simone to Gloria Steinem to Malala Yousafzai. There are local heroines too, including transgender Australian model Andreja Pejić, and landscape designer Edna Walling. The artworks shine a spotlight on women who inspire, but CEO of the Global Women’s Project Briony Mackenzie tells The Creators Project that the art world’s historic treatment of women added an additional dimension to the show.
“The art world has a long history of portraying women as objects and catering to the male gaze. Similarly, most history is written about men, by (white) men, in the arenas of war, business and politics…We hope that the exhibition starts a conversation about the objectification of women through art and society, and pushes the gender equality movement forward, even if just a little bit,” she says.
“Art is an incredibly powerful tool to agitate for change, and provides a means by which society can create and reimagine itself. It's our hope that this exhibition creates a little bit of her story, and does so in a way that allows the whole community, not only women, to celebrate the vibrant and diverse achievements of trailblazing women.”