paper flower bouquet

Dutch history has shaped the lack of visibility of women art makers up until today. The dominant position of men over women in society negatively affected the value assigned to the work made by women. Women were not allowed to work as an artist, which forced them to rely on the generosity of men in their direct surrounding to be exposed to material and training.

If women had the opportunity to create art, their subject was restricted as well. Still life, such as flowers, was considered a suitable subject, while topics with more public display, such as mythological or religious matters, were available only to men.

It is stated by Dutch art institutions that it is harder to show historic work made by women in great retrospectives. This is due to the limited amount of work available of a woman artist and the fragile material used, such as paper.

The exclusion is not due to a lack of female artists, but due to a systematic pattern of exclusion. The paper flowers refer to the position of women created by patriarchal structures and behaviors in Dutch society.

Creating awareness hopefully leads to more conscious decisions and actions at Dutch art institutions to change the pattern of structural exclusion of women artists, resulting in more recognition and visibility of historic and contemporary women artists.

Paper flower exposition WdKA

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