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Girlcore Magazine: Art Is For Girls

With the launch of their new book and expo, the collective discusses role models and how media exposure between male and female artists is divided

Close to six years have passed since the birth of Girlcore, the all-girl London-based art collective with an aim to promote, support and nurture emerging female artistic talent. Brought together by common interests in music as DJs and producers - rather than an overbearing consciousness to pioneer female art in an industry decidedly geared towards men - the group has naturally developed into a much needed nurturing and celebratory platform for female art.

It's unquestionable that male artists have greater chance of benefiting from exposure. The very fact that you can type ‘female artists’ into Wikipedia and have a page of results exemplifies this

This week, The Orange Dot Gallery in Bloomsbury opens its doors to the fruits of the Girlcore crop, celebrating the first edition of their new art book, ‘Girlcore Magazine’. The book and exhibit will showcase a selection of works handpicked by the group and featured on their ever expanding online portfolio of talent. Ahead of the private view, Dazed talked to Girlcore’s Julia Corsaro and Rebecca Mills about doing it for the girls.

Dazed Digital: Can you tell me about how Girlcore originated?
It was nearly six years ago, at a Secret Garden Party, that us girls decided to become a "collective" of sorts. We all had so much fun together, and wanted to recreate that feeling in the form of a club night. A lot of the group were starting their careers as DJs and music producers, so we wanted to give them a platform to get their name out there in a very male-dominated industry. That is how Girlcore started focusing on promoting female talent.

DD: Who are involved?
We had booking agents, promoters, designers, photographers, artists, writers, filmmakers and philanthropists in the mix – so we were able to hone in on our specialties and create events that were really magical. It was never born out of a joint, political manifesto or a unifying feminist worldview. It was a fun, friendly place to encourage one another and has organically evolved from there.

DD: How obvious is the discrepancy between male and female artists? Would you say female artists are limited in terms of opportunity and exposure?
It is unquestionable that male artists have greater chance of benefiting from exposure. The very fact that you can type ‘female artists’ into Wikipedia and have a page of results exemplifies this. Today people often question whether this discrepancy exists and ask us whether such gender concerns really hold any present relevance. Surely the proof is in the figures and it is certainly not for a lack of female creativity?

DD: Have you been affected by this? If so, how?
For a group, it is really hard to address this question properly as we all have different experiences and perspectives. As individuals we originate from various different countries and cultures. All of which have their own very unique attitudes and expectations towards women. To reflect this aspect to the collective, we try to dedicate as much effort in promoting international artists as those from here in the UK.

DD: What responses have you had to Girlcore and Girlcore Magazine?
It’s been brilliant, we created such a wonderful extended family from the parties we threw. And the magazine has had such a wealth of beautiful submissions as more and more people learn about us. The wider community seems to be as touched by the art as the group are and we continually get really lovely comments about the work we feature.

DD: Growing up, who were your female role models?
Is it ever the duty of an artist to in fact be a 'role model'? Essentially these things are subjective and thereby hard for a collective to answer. Agnes Varda, Sophie Calle, Francesca Woodman, Virginia Woolf, Marina Abramovic and Peaches are just some of the artists that two members have referenced as early influences. There is a feeling of being spoken to: 'woman to woman' that resonates. We could really hear them, irrelevant of whether we shared their attitudes.

DD: How would you compare the creative female influences and role models from this time to those of today?
We couldn't possibly comment on the differences, and surely a lot of these ‘role models’ are still as relevant today? It’s such an individual thing – the influences that speak to you. Essentially the more talented people out there who are touching others by doing what they love, the better. And that is irrelevant of gender.

Exhibition runs from 3rd- 27th February. Private View: 2nd February 6pm - 9pm at Orange Dot Gallery, 54 Tavistock Place WC1H 9RG London