Wise Women

Wise Women · Stanislava Pinchuk

In celebration of International Women’s Day 2017 this Wednesday March 8th, we’re sharing wisdom from seven inspiring Australian creative women every afternoon this week!

This year, IWD takes up the banner: Be Bold For Change,’ honouring the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women, whilst drawing attention to the fact that progress for women’s rights has slowed in many places, and global action is still needed.

Today we talk to Melbourne artist Stanislava Pinchuk aka MISO. This unapologetic young artist has a zeal for art with a social message.

Stanislava Pinchuk

Melbourne-based artist Stanislava Pinchuk, aka MISO. Photo – Annette O’Brien for The Design Files.

Stanislava Pinchuk
7th of March 2017

Wise words from Ukraine-born, Melbourne-based artist Stanislava ‘MISO’ Pinchuk.

On being a woman who works in male-dominated arenas…

Being a woman that works in conflict and disaster zones (like the Ukrainian Civil War, and the Chernobyl and Fukushima) is pretty interesting – sometimes an advantage, sometimes not. But it definitely puts you on a highway to staking your space physically… of being confident in the purpose of your work and assertive of your worth.

On the challenges of  being a woman in her creative field…

In the art world, young women are criminally under-represented in institutions and museums. So we really have to carve out our own visibility. Be as independent as possible. Make your own opportunities, magazines, awards, events that mean something. Use the press, be a communicator to support networks outside of your own industry, and also circulate your work as widely and smartly as you can.

On the best advice…

‘Don’t ask for half the rights, ask for half the power,’ said Susan Sontag. Holy moley!.. She’s so cool.

On inspirational people…

… I love: Martha Gellhorn, the war journalist; artists like Louise Bourgeois and Yoko Ono;  musicians like Odetta – and, oh my god, Rihanna; and authors like Joan Didion and James Baldwin. Closer to home, my friends and total female role models: Wafia and Del Kathryn Barton.

They all have that mix of being incredibly sensitive and perceptive of the world in their practice, yet also being resilient and tough as hell. It’s a hard balance to get right, and they nail it.

On Mum’s always right…

Actually, credit to Beyoncé’s mum: ‘I’m not going to diss you on the internet, because my mama taught me better than that.’

Destiny’s Child totally knew that being the bigger woman is pretty powerful in every circumstance!

On what I wish I always knew…

That you’re nimble and you’re always going to land on your feet in one way or another – that would have saved me a lot of sleepless nights!

On what we need to achieve greater gender equality…

Conservative government agendas around bathroom laws, particularly for transgender and non-binary students in schools, leave my heart pretty heavy at the moment.

It’s crap enough for adults, and it’s just not a fight any child should have to fight.