To mark International Women’s Day 2019, we’re showcasing the rise of women-led businesses and female creativity in all forms. Here we spotlight The Women’s Organisation who supported dot-art when it first began 13 years ago, and who champion many other businesswomen and creatives across Liverpool and Manchester.
The Women’s Organisation are formidable promoters of women’s individual and economic development in the UK. They offer support and training for women in both new and existing businesses and in employment, and help women achieve a full and active role within their communities.
The organisation has maintained an excellent relationship with dot-art Gallery over the years, working with us in 2017 to create an installation of artwork by two of dot-art’s female artist members Olga Snell and Joanne Thompson, to celebrate the organisation’s 21st birthday at 54 St James Street, Liverpool. When approaching this exciting project with The Women’s Organisation, it was important to showcase and celebrate local women artists and to reflect the scope of female creativity beyond common gender stereotypes.
dot-art member Olga Snell has worked as a freelance commercial photographer for over 25 years. Her digital artwork, which is currently on display in The Women’s Organisation, combines vintage and contemporary, photograph with drawing. Using a digital platform to combine what she finds inspiring, beautiful and thought-provoking, Olga arranges found images into mandalas and digital collage, often depicting 20th century women in surreal arrangements; female athletes with wild boars, wigs made of birds’ nests and branches.
Joanne Thompson’s work concentrates on exploring the interface between memory and experience. One of her pieces featured in The Women’s Organisation, ‘His & His’, is a painting of two thrones and is an attempt to express her personal view of the gender gap and male hierarchy in world religion. Using imagery and processes of women’s domestic crafts she conveys her inner psychological senses surrounding gender. Footstools with collage upholstery fabric depict Latin words loosely translating to war and imperial rulers, referencing the many wars created in the name of male dominated religion.
As well as dot-art and the artists we advise and support, The Women’s Organisation has provided help for a variety of makers and creative businesses in the north west. Katie Meadow is the designer and maker behind Owl and Wallflower. Creating unique handmade jewellery and gifts, Katie is inspired by natures curiosities, magical woodlands and botanical illustrations.
When asked about her business, Katie says: “My aim is to bring the magic and wonder of nature to my customers. I create wearable keepsakes, containing natures curiosities. I make botanical jewellery, containing flowers and foliage foraged from local woods and gardens either contained in glass vial pendants or trapped in between resin. I sell a variety of illustrated vintage and antique nature guides within my shop, with a particular focus on antique botanical illustrations.”
Katie is currently receiving business growth support from The Women’s Organisation through its Enterprise Hub growth programme. Suitable for young businesses within their first three years of trading, the programme is geared up to help businesses work towards a growth strategy for the future. Working with business advisor, Yan Miao, Katie is developing a plan to expand into different marketplaces.
Wreneleven is an online art gallery specialising in pop and contemporary art. Founder, Lauren Davies, created the gallery in December 2018 debuting her first collection: ‘Old Hollywood’. The collection depicts various public figures in a bid to showcase expressions of life in a woman’s world. Taking her inspiration from Romero Britto and Andy Warhol, Lauren has spearheaded a new style of pop-contemporary art using digitally manipulated old photographs with elements of graffiti and collage art.
Having graduated from London College of Fashion two years ago, Lauren has been tirelessly experimenting with her style and working towards launching her website, all while dealing with her own health issues. Today, part of Lauren’s mission is to raise awareness for Fibromyalgia UK and Endometriosis UK – to whom she plans to donate a percentage of her sales.
Lauren is currently working with business advisor Yan Miao at The Women’s Organisation through the Enterprise Hub programme. Lauren says: “The Women’s Organisation is such a welcoming environment; the team are so supportive and helpful – everyone is there to do well and thrive”.
This International Women’s Day, dot-art will be launching new showcase The Female Gaze: Women Depicting Women, which features three local, women artists. Join us in celebrating our new women-led exhibition on Thursday 7th March, 5pm-7pm. RSVP here.