My daughter is helping to organise a conference as part of International Women’s Day in March and as part of that wants women to post pictures and details of women who inspire them.
They are asking anyone to send a photo of a woman who has inspired them at some point in their lives. This could be a family member, a colleague, a celebrity….. absolutely anyone and for any reason! Accompanying the photo, they’d like a description, short or long, of how this woman was inspirational.
Post them on Twitter with the hashtag #inspiredbyher
So who to chose? Florence Nightingale? Aung Sang Suu Kyi? Georgia O’Keeffe? Marie Stopes? Millicent Fawcett? Vera Brittain?
I could write pages on any of these women and the incredible work they have done, the sacrifices they’ve made, the obstacles they’ve overcome. The truth is that I am inspired by any woman who went before me and who struggled to have some freedom that I take for granted – education, voting, contraception, exploring the artwork I want to do… how ever I chose to live my life, there are dozens……hundreds of women who fought so that I could have those choices.
But if I have to chose one, I will chose Georgia O’Keeffe the artist. I loved her art the first moment I came across it many years ago – there is something very visceral and free about her work that I admire – all the more when you consider the reaction it must have had in the first part of last century. Her works show emotion and power by abstracting objects and she took her inspiration from the natural world. I have stayed at Ghost Ranch, one of her homes in New Mexico twice and it was very moving to stand where she stood and see the wonderful wilderness that she painted so often. I have also been to the museum of her works in Santa Fe and was very excited to hear that Tate Modern are having an exhibition of her work in the summer of 2016.
Georgia O’Keeffe used many mediums to express her work and grew and changed as she aged. She was a pioneer in the art world and did what she wanted to do. I admire the way she followed her heart.
“I’ve been absolutely terrified every moment of my life and I’ve never let it keep me from doing a single thing I wanted to do.”
“I had to create an equivalent for what I felt about what I was looking at – not copy it.”