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Inspirational Woman Artists’ Exhibition 2023

I was pleased to take part in the Inspirational Woman Artists’ Exhibition 2023 at God’s House Tower Museum and Art Gallery to celebration International Women’s Day 2023.   The artworks are being sold through a silent auction online to raise money for the charity Yellow Door that supports those affected by sexual and/or domestic abuse in Hampshire. The artist I nominated was Marianne North (1830-1890).  The artworks can be seen at Gods House Tower until 23 April 2023.

At first glance Marianne North had a privileged life – not many people in Victorian England were rich enough to travel the globe and to create a gallery to oneself in Kew Gardens.  However, I have great respect for Marianne.  At the time, it could not have been easy for a female to go against social norms and Marianne was a female pioneer. She defied Victorian conventions painting over 800 paintings in 17 countries on 6 continents in 14 years. She was well respected for her botanical painting skill.  Much of her work was done living in huts in the depths of a forest.  During her visit to California, she recorded her concern with the destruction of the redwoods and is quoted in Riley, Glenda (1938) – Women & Nature – Saving the ‘wild’ west as “…one of the few English women to decry the exploitation of landscapes…”. Marianne was a female naturalist who influenced the way people understood landscapes long before photography.

Her painting of Californian redwoods is stunning. My painting of the Californian redwoods was inspired Marianne after a trip to see them in 2017.  Thankfully these trees are now protected in California and it is through the efforts of the early naturalists like Marianne that we can still enjoy these giant wonders today.

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