She Is an Artist: Significant Naïve Art in the UK and Ukraine

The issue of gender inequality is very current and has permeated all spheres of society, and the cultural industries are no exception. Art should, in principle, be one of the few areas in life that are free from prejudice, inequality and discrimination since it’s fundamentally about human creativity, however it’s important to recognise that most social problems are global in nature.

That women are underrepresented in the art world has started being discussed only relatively recently. Currently, projects and researchers are increasingly focusing on growing the visibility of discriminated groups, including women. Over the last few decades, Ukraine and Britain have seen a growing number of cultural projects devoted specifically to female artists.

The not-for-profit organisation Cultural Code, Pavlo Gudimov’s Ya Gallery Art Centre and the British Ukrainian Society, together with generous support from the Ukrainian Cultural Foundation and the British Council Ukraine, have launched the project She is an Artist: Significant Naïve Art in the UK and Ukraine. It is devoted to women in naïve art since despite the worldwide fame of artists such as Niko Pirosmani, Maria Prymachenko and Grandma Moses, the naïve movement is still on the fringes and relatively poorly represented as a modern art practice. She is an Artist focuses on the common and differentiating features in the art of self-taught women in the UK and Ukraine by analysing the forms, methods and content of their works. It is a search for answers to important questions about women and their life in visual images.

This new project is a conceptual sequel to the Naïve Art Festival online project, which was held for the first time in 2020 and studied the traditional and contemporary works of amateur artists in Ukraine.

As part of the project a catalogue will be published with artwork and research texts, and an exhibition will be held in Kyiv, Ukraine at the Ya Gallery Art Center. These events will be accompanied by other activities to engage with a wider public such as talks with artists, discussions with art critics, catalogue presentations and so on. The catalogue will be distributed free of charge to anyone on request, as well as to cultural and artistic institutions, libraries, art centres and the like.

The project will be implemented from 15 July to 16 October 2021.


Project partners:














Project supported by:

British Council