Girls To The Front is a celebration of women in music. Curated by artist Ana Hine, and taking place at Madigan’s Bookshop and Café on Castle Street in Dundee, the exhibition features photographs, screenprints, and paintings of women in music, all based on Ana’s own gig photography. Ana graduated from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in 2013 with a first class degree in photography and film, and this exhibition running from March 4-16, is her first solo exhibition in her hometown. It’s one of a series of events running as part of Dundee Women’s Festival.
Ana knows that she can’t single-handedly combat the sexism and discrimination in the music industry, but does believe that she can do her bit to bring the work of some amazing musicians and singer-songwriters to a new audience.
I asked her a bit more about the project.
How long have you been photographing musicians and gigs?
I’m an indie music journalist and early-career artist and I’ve been attending gigs and festivals as a multimedia reporter for several years. Highlights include seeing Kate Nash, Florence + The Machine, and Amanda Palmer. But I also enjoy giving a bit of press coverage to smaller acts, which is one of the reasons I make a zine.
What’s the fascination with female musicians?
For the last several years I’ve made a conscious effort to buy music by women, whether that’s mainstream artists or buying EPs at local gigs. I know I can’t single-handedly combat the sexism and discrimination in the music industry, but I can do my bit.
Also I just really appreciate the female perspective – like the female gaze in art – I’m interested in what women think and feel. I don’t want to lump us all together, but I think there’s still a level of difference in the experience of being a woman that comes through in the music that’s made – especially when it deals with explicitly feminist or lesbian themes.
Why did you decide to create Girls To The Front – an exhibition of women in music? Was it a deliberate decision or did it evolve organically?
I decided to have the exhibition when I started screenprinting from photos I’d been taking at gigs and realised that some of them were alright! Also I wanted to be able to publicise some of the more indie bands featured like Houdini Said No, The Farting Suffragettes, and Fistymuffs.
What unique situations are there for women in music?
I think we’re responsible for making a scene, from picking up a bass guitar to being interested in an event on social media, it all helps. We just need to spread the word about acts we like (and be vigilant for the creeps trying to keep women down.)