CURRENTLY IN NYC THERE ARE 150 STATUES AND 9% ARE WOMEN
ABOUT THE LAUNCH ON NATIONAL WOMEN EQUALITY DAY 26th AUGUST 2019
Statues For Equality is a global mission to balance gender representation in public statues and honour women’s contribution to society. Gender inequality is among the most critical issues facing the world today and having a public display of inspirational women for the world to see is the first tangible step we can make towards a more equal society. Sadly the representation of female statues in most western countries is less than 4%.
On Woman’s Equality Day, the 26th of August in New York City, Statues For Equality was launched and history was made with the world’s most influential woman. 10 inspirational and larger than life bronze female statues were unveiled on the iconic Avenue of the Americas to increase female representation in public art statues, from 3% to 9% overnight. Some of these women included Oprah, Jane Goodall, Cate Blanchett, P!nk and Nicole Kidman.
This was a very long and complicated process to make sure each of the statues was a depiction of the woman exactly how she wanted to be seen. The artists began with a portrait study. To really understand the individual faces, Gillie and Marc began by first sketching, then painting the faces of each woman.
This process, starting in 2D, is incredibly important for developing the expressions and to allow the individual personalities to shine through when crafting the clay mould and transforming them into bronze masterpieces. Painted on fabric from around the world, they represent the diversity of womankind. Each painting has its own texture, shape, and feel. From there, the artists collaborated with the women further. Each woman decided their own pose, outfit, and flower on which they would stand for their statue in bronze.
Gillie and Marc now want to expand their project around the world with the goal of reaching complete gender equality of public sculptures (50%) across the globe by 2025.
Female Statues that existed before Statues For Equality:
One of the five statues of historic women in New York City is of Eleanor Roosevelt, by Penelope Jencks. Eleanor Roosevelt was the respected First Lady of the United States from 1933-1945.
Did you know that currently only 5 of NYC’s 150 statues are of historic women? Of those 5 only 1 is a woman of colour! Harriet Tubman escaped slavery to become a leading abolitionist and amongst many brave acts, led hundreds of enslaved people to freedom along the Underground Railroad.
Joan of Arc
One of only five statues of historical women in NYC, the Joan Of Arc memorial statue is one of the most impressive in the city! The statue celebrates Joan of Arc, 15th century patriot and martyr who successfully commanded French forces against the English, before being captured and burned at the stake!
Gertrude Stein was an Jewish American novelist, poet, playwright, and art collector. She was born in Pittsburgh, but moved to Vienna and then Paris during her childhood. During her adult life she befriended and held meetings with many leading figures of modernism in literature and art, including Pablo Picasso and Ernest Hemingway.
Golda Meir is best known as being the first (and currently only!) female Prime Minister of Israel. Golda was born in Kiev, but moved to the United States as a child. During her school years she organised a fundraiser to pay for her classmates textbooks and formed the American Young Sisters Society.
Female Statues erected in 2019 thanks to Statues For Equality:
Cate Blanchett is an internationally acclaimed and award-winning actress, producer, humanitarian, and dedicated member of the arts community. In recognition of her continued advocacy for the arts and support of humanitarian and environmental causes, Blanchett has been awarded the Companion of the Order of Australia in the General Division; the Centenary Medal for Service to Australian Society through Acting; and the Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French Minister of Culture.
Three-time Olympic gold medallist, Gabby Douglas is an American artistic gymnast, noted for her trailblazing performances in individual all-around and team competitions. In 2012, she was named female athlete of the year for her landmark sporting achievements.
One of the most prominent women in the United States space agency NASA, Tracy Caldwell Dyson is an American chemist and astronaut, selected by NASA following her groundbreaking research into molecular level surface reactivity.
Perhaps the world’s most noted conservationist, Dame Jane Morris Goodall DBE is an English primatologist, anthropologist, and the world’s foremost expert on chimpanzees. Founder of the Jane Goodall Institute, Goodall is well regarded for the many decades of study she has done on social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees.
Loved around the world for her roles in films such as Moulin Rouge!, The Hours, Lion, and the highly acclaimed television series Big Little Lies, Australian American actress Nicole Kidman is one of the most adored and respected people in Hollywood with her films grossing more than $3.9 billion worldwide.
New York Times bestselling author Janet Mock is an American writer, producer, director, advocate for trans rights, and the founder of #GirlsLikeUs, a social media project that empowers trans women. Janet gained prominence as a contributing editor for Marie Claire, and for her inspirational memoirs Redefining Realness and Surpassing Certainty.
Twenty-first-century pop idol P!nk is a three-time Grammy award winning singer and songwriter who has released seven studio albums, had 15 top 10 singles, sold over 50 million albums worldwide, and sold out tours all over the world, making her one of the most widely respected and popular musicians across the globe.
Novelist, essayist, and memoirist Cheryl Strayed is an American author whose books have been published in more than 30 languages. Strayed’s memoir, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail, chronicles her 1,100-mile solo hike on the Pacific Crest Trail, which she embarked on after losing her mother to cancer. Wild reached number 1 on the New York Times bestsellers list and was adapted into an Oscar-nominated film starring Reese Witherspoon. Strayed’s book Tiny Beautiful Things, a collection of her popular Dear Sugar columns, has influenced the well-being of untold readers around the world and spawned her top-rated Dear Sugars podcast.
Humanitarian, scholar, educator, and author, Dr Tererai Trent is one of the world’s most internationally recognized voices for quality education and women’s empowerment. Distinguished as Oprah Winfrey’s “All-time favorite guest”, Trent is a prominent activist for equal rights to education, her contribution to this cause was born from her own fight against adversity.
Recognizable across the world, Oprah Winfrey is a global media leader, philanthropist, producer, actress, author, and the world’s first black female billionaire. She has created an unparalleled connection with people around the world, making her one of the most respected and admired figures today.
Justice Ginsburg (Being erected in 2020)
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has devoted her life’s work to promoting equal justice for all – as the pioneering director of the Women’s Rights Project at the American Civil Liberties Union, arguing landmark cases on gender equality before the Supreme Court of the United States; as a Judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit; and as the second woman to serve as an Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Justice Ginsburg’s lifelong commitment to equal justice has inspired millions worldwide.