Your Space Or Mine
Ellipsis Prints highlights early-career womxn artists in Hackney
Getting started in the art world is difficult for anyone, but especially so for women, minorities and people from working class backgrounds. Recognising the gender imbalance in traditional art, curator and writer Kate Neave launched Ellipsis Prints in 2019, a project that aims to level the playing field by highlighting early-career womxn artists. By curating and commissioning contemporary art and prints by womxn, Ellipsis offers a voice to those often marginalised by the art world. Even the name, Ellipsis (…), symbolises those who go underrepresented.
“I find myself drawn to the work of womxn artists which often speaks directly to my interests and concerns. At the same time, I continue to be surprised and saddened by the inequalities which perpetuate in the contemporary art world,” Neave said of the decision to launch her project. She was particularly motivated by a 2019 report from the Freelands Foundation that revealed that opportunities for women artists are increasing at a “painfully slow rate”.
Without money or connections, many marginalised voices cannot create or promote their art, but by commissioning new work, Ellipsis gives them the space to breathe. They also aim to further careers by allowing artists to expand their practice while providing visibility, sales, and support. Ellipsis currently exists online and in exhibitions in London, so we decided to collaborate with them for our Your Space Or Mine series, in which we offer artists poster space to spread their messaging.
Ellipsis will take over our site on Hackney Road with 12 beautiful pieces by 12 different womxn artists, brightening up the street and promoting their work. The list of artists taking part is a who’s-who of up-and-coming womxn London artists. With colourful, powerful pieces by Gabriele Beveridge, Lydia Boehm, Bea Bonafini, Scarlett Bowman, Phoebe Collings-James, May Hands, Hannah Lees, Daisy Parris, Milly Peck, Hannah Rowan, Devlin Shea and Lucy Whitford, the collaboration will showcase their talents across a variety of mediums.
“As much as the work by womxn artists deserves to be seen, the local community also has a right to see work by womxn artists,” said Neave. She adds: “In a world where so much is dominated and designed for the male user, here womxn are given prominent space for their own voice. Representation serves as inspiration. Showing work by womxn artists at such a size and in full view of the street is a sign of strength and inspiration to the artists themselves, to other womxn artists and also to womxn audiences.”
We love showcasing powerful work on the most democratic space of all, the street, and Neave agrees that it’s the best way to get Ellipsis’ message across: “Showing these artworks on the street shows that these artists refuse to be overlooked and marginalised. By showing their work large-scale on the street they can no longer be ignored,” Neave says. “Art on the street can reach new and different audiences. Art is a powerful form of visual communication and shouldn’t be reserved for the elite,” she adds.
While this collaboration and the ongoing work of Ellipsis is a bold step towards achieving balance for marginalised voices in the arts, Neave acknowledges that we need to strive for true equality. “We need to recognise the advantage that society bestows on male artists and give opportunities and support to those voices that have been and continue to be marginalised.” she says. A year on from launch, Ellipsis continues to gather momentum, even throughout the pandemic. We’re proud of our collaboration with them, and hope that by making the work impossible to ignore, more people will notice the artists they’ve long overlooked.
You can see all available prints on their website.