‘Wide Awoke’- Are Female Artists Worth Collecting? with Joyce Harkin from Scotland, UK


This time in our latest ‘Wide Awoke’ article, with Joyce Harkin, we speak behind the video, have a listen…

Several weeks ago, we announced our brand new ‘Women’ section within TheAppWhisperer and we kicked off with our first ‘Talking Points’ with the incredibly talented mobile artist, M. Cecilia Sao Thiago,where she visually channeled the creative argument of ‘what if I wasn’t me?’, envisaging herself as an artist whilst physically being a male, as opposed to female.Catherine Caddigan another accomplised aritst also contributed with a great ‘Talking Points’ entitled ‘What do we reveal to the camera’. We followed that up with a fabuolus insightful video fromSusan Detroy,with her perspective vis-Ã-vis the women’s movement, using her own self portraiture work and ethos. Successively we published the first in our Women’s ‘Wide Awoke’ section with Armineh Hovanesian and followingwork from  Deborah McMillion, Lynette Sheppard, Rita Colantonio and Fleur Schim.

For our ‘Wide Awoke’ section initially, we selected a challenging discussion at the Tate Museum, London. Recently, an article was published in The Guardian, by Helen Gorrill, suggesting that female artists are less likely to succeed now, than they were in the 1990s. Gorrill expressed “Today, when men’s artwork is signed, it goes up in value; conversely when work by women is signed, it goes down in value, and the addition of a woman’s signature can devalue artwork to the extent that female artists are more likely to leave their work unsigned”. And even more scathingly, “The Tate seems to align to these views by only collecting a ‘token’ proportion of work by women, who form the 74% majority of fine art graduates”, Gorrill goes on to say.

This of course, provoked much discussion here at TheAppWhisperer HQ, after all, this is one of the key elements to our new Women section, we want to drag out all these issues and more into the open.

We approached several female mobile artists and asked them this question ‘Are Female Artists Worth Collecting?’ and asked them to create a short video of their answer to our subheading of this section ‘Wide Awoke’. Today, we are incredibly proud to publish the sixth in this series by none other than female artist, Joyce Harkin, from Scotland.

We really hope you enjoy this new section and of course, please feel free to leave comments below, this is a section about Womens issues but we invite all men to view and participate in commenting too.

©Joyce Harkin

All images ©Joyce Harkin

Text of Voice over

Are female artists worth collecting?

If we turned this question around and asked “Are male artists worth collecting?” The response would be bemusement or outrage. Why is the question of gender even being asked in this day and age?

Historically there were few women artists because of the cultural norms and limitations placed upon them. Even in the recent past, it was conceded that women just might be creative in the more decorative arts like textiles or pottery but not in ‘fine art’. Remember the 60s? Equality, feminism, the glass ceiling? Why have we not moved on?  It is infuriating!

Female artists and their massive contribution to the art world is not what’s in question here.  Womens’ art has always reflected issues of identity, place in the world and how we are perceived and portrayed with integrity and honesty, in challenging, gutsy, humorous and beautiful ways. But who gets to decide what it’s worth?  Who is collecting art and why?  

It seems that most men buy art as an investment rather than for aesthetic or emotional reasons. Is this piece of art going to be a good investment? Not do I love it and want to look at it every day?  Will this ever change? I don’t know but if we take the music industry as an example, it has already been transformed by direct downloading and the internet, perhaps the art world will likewise be turned on it’s head? Galleries will no longer be the way to promote and sell art. I feel optimistic that we are moving towards a situation where technology will provide a platform for artists of whatever gender to thrive on their merits and talents alone.

hello again – please donate

We have a small favour to ask. More people than ever are reading TheAppWhisperer.com and we could not be more excited about that. We bring you ad-free journalism every day, so you don’t have to close windows and be distracted with advertisements. We specialise in mobile photography and mobile art and we value all of our readers, writers, contributors and viewers but we do have costs and we do need to ask for your help. We at TheAppWhisperer spend many hours each day, each week and each month to bring you this high quality level of journalism. We do it because we are passionate about it and because we want others to be as passionate too.

If everyone who reads our website, who likes it, helps to support it, our future would be so much more secure. Please help us by offering a contribution or supporting us with a monthly donation of your choosing.

JavaScript is not enabled. You must enable JavaScript to use this form.

Donation Information

I would like to make a donation in the amount of:


I would like this donation to automatically repeat each month

Tribute Gift

Check here to donate in honor or memory of someone

Donor Information

Please do not display my name publicly. I would like to remain anonymous
Add me to your mailing list

error: Content is protected !!