moving on

So, looking to the future the big question is “How do we want our civic commemorations of women to look?“

This will be a new generation of tributes and celebrations of the great wealth of contributions that women have made to our world.

Of course, there will be many beautiful figurative statues like those of Amy Johnson and Sylvia Pankhurst of a quality that matches the best existing bronzes. But given that this will be a whole new swathe of works, it is also a golden opportunity to let ourselves imagine a broader range of approaches, to give our creative vision a chance to shine.

updated poster - plinths for women

Being Heard

Women’s voices have, historically, so often been silenced in a male dominated world. ( Who was it that said “Anon” was a woman? ) So, the idea of sound sculptures seems an apt way to begin to redress the balance.

Think of the emotional power of the work of Susan Philipsz’s sound sculptures. She is now a Turner Prize winner with work all over the world.

It’s probably time we all made a bit more noise.

The Moving Image

Just imagine how engaging it might be if when walking in a city street or square, movement sensors triggered a short projection onto a wall or a building. Such a work could be of a woman or women’s group who had lived or worked in that place, giving you an instant insight into the history both of the area and of women’s work, political demonstrations, sporting successes or creative achievements.

And…..

and of course, waiting in the wings, there are all those other unknown new applications of technology; pieces that might function with your phone or tablet. Who knows what we might dream up next?

Millie Dresselhaus

General Electric and the Power of the Image.

Millie Dresselhaus and Barack Obama

Image from www.businessinsider.sg

Even a massive company like General Electric is now acknowledging the sheer good sense of welcoming the talents of the 50% of the population that is female.

GE ran a female empowerment-themed ad during the Oscars that raised a thought-provoking question: what if female scientists were revered in our culture as much as celebrities?

The ad, by the advertising company, BBDO New York, imagines what would happen if Millie Dresselhaus,

Millie Dresselhaus and Barack Obama

Image from spectrum.ieee.org

the first woman to win the National Medal of Science in Engineering in the US, was treated like Angelina Jolie or Kim Kardashian: people would want to take selfies with her, she'd appear on glossy magazine covers, photographers would pap her having lunch, there'd even be an emoji of her face -- and of course, her lectures would be sold out.

It's a serious message: that GE is building a world in which this might be possible, with a goal of 20,000 women in technical roles by 2020.

The campaign recognizes the power of the image, in all its forms, to change perception.