Is football a new religion? Can being a female artist be an advantage in some cultures? These are just some of the subjects covered in a brief interview I did with acclaimed local artists The Singh Twins. I chatted with Rabindra and Amrit at the private view of the Walker Art Gallery's latest exhibition The Rise of Women Artists, where Rabindra's painting 'Oh Come All Ye Re-eds' is on display. One of the main things I was interested to find out was whether they ever actually define themselves as 'women artists' or if they didn't think about gender at all.
Amrit said; 'I think personally as artists we’ve never thought of ourselves as women, we’ve never defined ourselves as ‘British female artists’. I think that the gender issue is not really important, as ultimately I think the art should speak for itself and the quality of the work. Therefore it doesn’t matter if you’re a man or a woman.
But I think that it is important in the context of if you consider throughout history where there has been prejudice towards female artists then obviously that is something that needs to be re-addressed. I think there should be more incentives to support female artists especially since many of them are juggling a million things; family life and other commitments around the work they are trying to do. And it’s not always easy to take up a career in art alongside that and to commit to all your other daily activities. Essentially though, no I don’t think that gender matters. The work should speak for itself.
Rabindra said; 'From a personal perspective though, in terms of support for women, in the context of our own background and coming from an Indian family, actually we’ve had a lot more support being women than we would have done being men. Because traditionally it’s the men who are meant to be the breadwinners and go out and get a so-called ‘decent job’. There was less pressure on the women! So I think from our own cultural context I think it’s been an advantage that we’re women and we’ve had 100% support from our family in pursuing a career as artists.
You can listen to or download the full interview with The Singh Twins here and see photos from the private view on our The Rise of Women Artists Flickr set.