How do I overcome the patriarchal blocks to my development/nurture/journey as an artist

Convener(s): Julia Taudevin

Participants: Kieran Hurley, Julia Taudevin, Chris Goode, Gemma Rowen, Gabrielle Beasley, Rose Biggin, Francesca Lisette, Anna Marsland, Nell Ranney, Jonny Liron, Scarlett Plairez Commas, + others

Summary of discussion, conclusions and/or recommendations:

Initial responses

Media/celebrity culture/films = men’s playground (or does it?)

Money = men

The world is men’s film set

Men construct (literally) our world

Do these words (nurture/development/journey) connect with the idea of a career or of a holistic practice/position?

Stories of women in art – negated

Don’t need a consensus

Broader movement of questioning

There are as many feminisms here as there are people in this room

Feminism / gender – negative connotations

Feminism needs to be at the heart of things

Lack of resolution of the feminist movement means people now see it as a failure

Need to arm yourself as feminists – not the right words

Pressure not to go backwards / to do things that have already been ticked

The pressure to ‘innovate’

Instead, create space for what we don’t yet recognize

The market place values the ‘innovative’, we can’t guarantee we have anything new to say but stories CAN be told over and over again

Make new pathways?


What Are the Patriarchal Blocks?

Even if we can’t find the solutions, perhaps naming the obstacles can be a step forward.



Where do we see women?

Ownership (means of…)

Internal voice (“no” “you can’t”)

Where is that voice coming from?



Feminism as dirty word



  • too radical
  • out of date
  • connotations

Market place values

Work as commodity

Self as commodity


Validation (lack of)

Definition of validation – value systems




Old boys club

Old white boys club



Rejection of forms of sisterhood

My dad

  • language
  • legitimacy
  • values
  • permissible
  • set of choices

local blocks



My mum



  • culture of competition
  • gate keepers



Do people feel responsible for talking about gender anymore in the arts?

“your” “brand” of “feminism”

“sell by” date of “feminism”

Fetishisation/objectification of the performative act of getting naked



A sub conversation

Is the context useful/generative?

Let’s have a space to take ourselves seriously and be unapologetic


What is the vision?

An attempt to find the opposite of the Patriarchal Blocks. What it is we are striving for.

Equality (not just about women)

No more insistence on the domestic

Being able to talk about injustice (?)

Freedom of identity


Shakespeare (or a whole new cannon)

Destroy the patriarchal gaze – but replace with high definition (not blindness)

Don’t accept the premise of the question

Tell stories of weakness

Non hierarchical

Success doesn’t equal value

Solidarity and support

Celebration of difference

What does this work look like?


Do you have to give up on your cultural history?



Action Point

Continue this discussion


A couple of Summarizing Sentences

which will be useful to this report 

This question came from the personal and in discussion very quickly became quite a difficult discussion about the impersonal

i.e industry/systemic/structural/historical ‘blocks’.

When the language of the question was returned to, it being personal and using the holistic language of an artists’ practice rather than career, the complexity of the issue somehow became more manageable.

This was a big sprawling and passionate discussion.  We discovered that the ‘blocks’ in question are so multiple – they are structural, cultural, internal... We were clearly unable to come to a solution in the form of Action Points, but we felt that collectively identifying shared concerns was a useful step.  We drew a picture of the Massive Phallic Airship of Male ART, with the masses as its spectators.  We were pleased with this outcome.

The moment of creating the Massive Phallic Airship of Male ART brought us together in a collective act of creativity and solidarity.