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Sexism, Art School and Art

I did my first degree at the University of Brighton.

We tend to think of Brighton as uber-liberal but actually, it is very selective about what liberalisms to foster.

The biggest problem for me at the time (I was a mature student in the mid-noughties) was that the tutors seemed to be stuck in a sort of 1970's academic time warp.

A feminist logo
The Feminist Fist, Pink Warriors, and I love pink!

There was plenty of liberalism certainly, but it was a sort of hippy-dippy liberalism that only plays lip service to radical arts. That sort of equal opportunities poster art liberalism and burn the bra feminism that literally gives you no support.

I was well into my degree show when I decided to change the title of part of it to 'The Great Masturbators of History'. I stomped about a toy car park in high heels. Noone understood it but I thought it was epic. Art doesn't need justifying. I personally don't believe it can be given marks. A pass or fail according to thinking and getting homework done should suffice.

My tutor, a woman, was utterly horrified. She made certain I knew that it would have a negative impact on my overall mark. She did not get it at all.

There was another student who had a habit of showing her flesh and she was also greeted with disdain at group tutorials by the same tutor.

This tutor had something against women's bodies and our mutual waves of feminism were not making gravy.

My degree piece was a nod towards the great cannon of arts...you know, the one where only men make art, only men wright about it, only men judge it and then, the elephant in the library.....they always make themselves to be so very talented, gorgeous, radical, blah blah blah.

Today, I finally a movement of reclaiming feminine art history. It is happening in music too as we ask whose music should be included in the cannon and where are the women. We have existed, we were there, we are here still. I love Bach, but I bet I would also love lots of female composers too.

This fact, that finally after 20 years my opinions from twenty years ago finally have creative currency, give me the impetus to keep making a noise.

Sadly, I never made the canon of great art with my degree show as I had no voice, no audience, and my tutors hated my work. But I will try to make up for it now by keeping every artwork I make and writing about it too. One thing about the internet, the crazy stuff sticks around.

© 2021 The Artist Known as Dominartist

NB I just looked for an image of a composer on a stock photo site and got a row of men. Also, on my Wix website, when I put in musician, producer, director.....all men. Looks like we have further to go than I thought.