International Women’s Day was first celebrated in 1911 and so this year marks the 110th celebration.

As the month draws to a close it is important that women’s achievements are celebrated all year around – quite particular those of ethnic minorities in the art world.

Dating back to times of Greek Mythology , black women were often whitewashed, not necessarily the artists but the art itself. In the 1980’s a film by the name ‘The Clash Of Titans’ gained much fame. It’s story was centred around saving a beautiful princess by the name of Andromeda , the painting from which it was derived from as well as the actress who played the role were both white.

However in truth, the painting originally should have consisted of an Ethiopian princess that was both of blackness and beauty. This interpretation was not included as the beauty could not be seen in this race and was a dichotomy to Western art. Though these were diminishing circumstances progression has risen. Many famous black artists have emerged onto the scene in recent years culminating elements of African culture and abstract colours and moving away from previous western perspectives.

In particular contemporary artist Lubaina Himid, she is a black British artist and tends to focus her artistic style on themes of cultural history and reclaiming identities, this almost references the story of Andromeda’s presentation mentioned earlier . She also centres her art around the lost black history which led her to be the first ever black woman to win the Turner Prize.

Another prevalent contemporary black artist is Sonia Boyce. She centres her work around social practises as well as the themes of dynamics within space and the relationship between sound and memory . Like Himid, she uses narratives and history to explore her art and develop it further. In 2020 Boyce was selected by the British Council to represent Britain at the 2021 Venice Biennale, which is described as the Olympics of the art world and a festival which is comprised of many different elements.

She is making history by being the first ever black woman to do so and this is an extraordinary achievement as black women are often shunned by the art world. They are either excluded because of their race or their unique styles of art, their achievements go beyond these barriers and so therefore the talents of both contemporary artists are vital in being included into this article celebrating 100 years of women.