Tag Archives: women artists

Three shades of mimosa…

Italian feminists first chose the mimosa (wattle) flower as a symbol to mark the first International Women’s Day after the end of World War II in 1946. They chose it for its bright colour, scent and plentiful availability at the time of year and their tradition spread across the world.

Estelle Mary (Jo) Sweatman (1872- 1956) is considered to be one of Australia’s most famous painters of wattle (mimosa). (Like most women artists, her name and artworks were not made as well-known like many male artists of the same era.)

First thing this morning, I received this text…

Happy International Women’s Day Zoë !
I hope you can enjoy a little time today to reflect on the achievements of all the other great women.
Dad xx

It made my day. Especially knowing Dad grew up in an era that was so very different for women. And while Mum has been gone a very long time now, I can also hear her voice in his words. I’m so grateful for all the inspirational women who have kept on despite all the setbacks put in front of them because of their gender, yet who persevered to achieve changes, both small and large, that overall make a great difference.

There was a time a woman couldn’t get a book published, then had to publish under a male name and there was also a time that as a woman with a migrant surname it would have been even harder for me to have my writing published. I really appreciate and am thankful for how far women have come and for continuing to persist and also to the strong, just, kind men who support them and keep doing so. Auguri per la Festa della Donna! 💛

Wattle trees on the Riverbank, c.1910s-20s, oil on canvas by Estelle Mary (Jo) Sweatman (1872-1956). 

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a dove has spread her wings…

Last Friday, I discovered this beautiful artwork by Ukrainian artist, Mariya Prymachenko (1909-1997) titled, ‘A Dove Has Spread Her Wings and Asks for Peace’, 1982. I’ve just found out that on Sunday, invading Russian forces burned down the museum that was home to dozens of Mariya’s paintings.

Mariya was from a poor family and could only receive 4 years of schooling. She got polio as a child that left her with physical impairment. Unable to work in the fields she began to draw as she watched the geese. She and her partner Vasyl had a son but didn’t manage to get married before Vasyl was sent to fight in WW2 and was killed. Mariya kept on painting and became renowned for her work. Her son and two grandsons also became artists.

Mariya painted these paintings when she was in her 70s. This one is titled, ‘Our Army, Our Protectors’, 1978. I can’t tell you how distressed I feel at what is happening in Ukraine and other parts of the world where aggression and injustice is being put above people, animals, nature, art, music, culture, food, peace – everything that makes our world such a beautiful place.

I stand in solidarity with the people of Ukraine. May they continue to stand tall, bright and independent like the sunflowers that are their national flower.

(Following the destroying of the museum that contained Mariya’s artworks and many other important cultural items, Ukraine has called for UNESCO to strip Russia of its membership in its organisation.)

Голубка распустила крила, хоче на землі мира. 💛💙🌻

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