International Women’s Day 2023: A Spotlight on Four Artists

International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, political and cultural achievements of women around the globe.


Bridgeman Images is delighted to feature a variety of diverse female artists. This International Women’s Day, we are shining the spotlight on Vanessa Jackson RA, Laura James, Yi Xiao Chen and Güler Ates. 


Vanessa Jackson RA is a British contemporary painter, renowned for her wall installation paintings. She implements geometry and its three-dimensional function to expand her work beyond the regularity and restrictions of modernist spaces. She writes, ‘Very early on I was drawn towards the use of geometry as a form of democracy, a visual system that already existed carrying its own diverse and multi layered histories’ (2010). Through her work, Jackson examines the contrast between a space which pertains to logic but simultaneously remains open to uncertainty. This exploration involves a sense of playfulness in relation to colour and form, ultimately aiming to distort perception. She was elected as a Royal Academician in September 2015, also winning The Sunny Dupree Family Award for a Woman Artist at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2015. 


Vertigo in Three Parts, wall painting at Sadlers Wells Theatre, 2008 (photo), Vanessa Jackson, (b.1953)  Private Collection  © Vanessa Jackson. All rights reserved 2023  Bridgeman Images

As both an artist and an independent curator, Laura James aims to share her artistic vision with the world; stories, feelings, confidence and beauty. She enjoys creating art which reflects what she sees in her mind’s eye. Her African and Caribbean-American heritage, alongside a lifelong love of design and colour, underpins her body of work. She combines two styles, ‘sacred’ and ‘secular’. This both separates and fuses the sacrosanct and the ordinary, producing a diverse variety of artworks. Laura continues to build on her original interest in the Ethiopian Christian Art form, which explores the ancient way of making icons and traditional stories. She also finds inspiration from subjects such as the veneration of the Divine Feminine, Buddhism and ancient Egyptian themes. Having grown up in a prominently female household, her secular work seeks to portray strong and beautiful women.  


Black Girl with Wings (acrylic on canvas), Laura James,  Private Collection  © Laura James. All Rights Reserved 2023  Bridgeman Images

Yi Xiao Chen is an Australian illustrator and ceramicist. Whilst these artistic ventures are her passions, she also works every day as a medical doctor. She enjoys the juxtaposition between art and medicine, drawing inspiration from the contrast in perspectives. Her work primarily portrays beautiful and vivid figures, enabling her to construct a strong feminine aesthetic. She additionally investigates the themes of multiculturalism and social cohesiveness through the depiction of Asian culture. However, she has previously been noted for focusing on any subject that she finds visually engaging rather than contextually significant. The careful composition is central to these bold pieces. 


Island Hotel, 2017 (digital), Yi Xiao Chen,  Private Collection  © Yi Xiao Chen. All Rights Reserved 2023  Bridgeman Images


Güler Ates was born in Eastern Turkey, though she now lives and works in London. Having graduated in 2008 from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Printmaking, she now works as a Digital Print Tutor at the Royal Academy Schools. Her work is displayed in the print collection of the Victoria & Albert Museum, along with many other prominent museums and galleries. Her work is often described as hauntingly beautiful. She principally explores displacement, alongside the connection between space and identity. These ideas are rooted in notions of cultural perceptions, which Güler depicts through colour, light, patterns and symbols. The mysterious undertones of her pieces provoke questions of identity and meaning. Her work draws on Old Master paintings to form a delicate aesthetic. She also contrasts this sense of the ethereal by incorporating geometry. 


The Waves and She I, 2017 (photo), Güler Ates, (b.1977)  Private Collection  © Guler Ates. All Rights Reserved 2023  Bridgeman Images

The intention supporting International Women’s Day centres around the desire for a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. It is an internationally important day to call for positive change, promoting the celebration of women’s achievements and multiculturalism. 

Bridgeman Images is pleased to mark this day with image selections from diverse female artists:

Women photographers

Women artists throughout art history

Women artists and diversity

Women in cinema

Women artist


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