Merseyside women are painting their way to a better life and exhibiting their work at Tate Liverpool’s Art Dock to share their inspiring stories.
100 Women Create – “Making an Exhibition of Ourselves” is at Tate Liverpool’s new studio space, Art
Dock, from Wednesday, 20th to Tuesday, 26th June and it is the chance to see some amazing art and
hear some emotional and heart-warming personal tales of struggle, sacrifice, achievement and ultimate
The project is the creation of Liverpool artist Clare Campbell. As a renowned artist and social
entrepreneur Clare had a serious breakdown and it was painting self-portraits that led to her
recovery. This had such a positive affect that Clare began to share the experience through
workshops and soon had a waiting list of women from across the region wanting to create portraits
She explained: “I knew that creativity was an essential ingredient in life because it had literally
saved me. I began helping other women to paint themselves as powerful warriors, goddesses and
queens – the experience on canvas gave them courage to change their lives in many ways.”
In June, Tate Liverpool will be hosting a series of these workshops linked to the DLA Piper Series
exhibition Innocence and Experience – curated by Marianne Faithfull. The women will take
inspiration for their own paintings from the Tate Collection works on display, which were selected
by the legendary singer-songwriter. These works will form their display at Art Dock.
Clare’s idea was to get 100 women to create a self portrait over the course of a year however
she achieved this in a few short months so she is now looking to expand the scheme around the
world and build their connections with excluded and diverse community groups to deliver more
workshops in the future.
Clare said: “The women are so excited about their paintings hanging in at Tate Liverpool, this was
their dream and that is what this project is all about, helping women to realise big dreams. Their
next dream is to have an exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery – watch this space!”
One of the key funders for the project has been Liverpool Primary Care Trust. As part of the Decade
of Health and Wellbeing they are supporting cultural programmes which help people build the Five
Ways to Wellbeing – Connect; Be Active; Take Notice; Keep Learning; and Give into their daily lives.
Gideon Ben-Tovim, Chair of Liverpool PCT said “We are delighted to work alongside and support
this talented group of women to take forward their project. It is another fantastic example
of how inspiring, community lead projects working with partners such as ourselves and Tate
Liverpool can promote health and wellbeing. We hope the enterprise is successful and becomes a
real asset throughout the Decade of Health and Wellbeing.”
Alison Jones, Programme Manager for Public and Community Learning at Tate Liverpool, said:
“Tate Liverpool is delighted to host the 100 Women Create display and workshops in our new
studio space, Art Dock. At Tate Liverpool, we are working as part of Liverpool’s Decade of Health
and Wellbeing to promote art and health, and the 100 Women Create project, which engages
with a current Tate Collection display, really demonstrates how the arts can benefit a person’s
But this has not just been about the art as Clare has been helping the women to set up their own
social enterprise to sell sets of cards of their artwork with affirming messages about self esteem,
health and support on the back.
Clare said: “I run a social enterprise and I know what a great opportunity it is to make a
difference, so I’ve been encouraging the women to follow their dream and set up their own
creative business. I help them realise what’s possible and how they can get funding advice and
support and some of them are already starting to get commissions for their artwork.”
Clare is now looking for funders to help her to deliver the project to a wider audience, including
those who could really benefit but would find it hard to afford the workshop.
“The workshop enables women to tap into their creativity, it offers strength and healing, and
provides a tremendous bonding opportunity. Some wonderful friendships have been formed,
stretching across age and social divides,” explained Clare. “We would love to be able to offer the
workshop to more women and if anyone is interested in donating funds to the project or would
like to book a workshop, we would love to hear from you!”
If an organisation is interested in booking a workshop programme for 10 women, it costs £5,000
including packs of cards produced of the artwork, and inclusion in the bigger project. It is usually
run as a three-day full-time course or five two-hour sessions with follow-up, however this can be
tailored to suit. Individual women can book a place on the weekend 100 Women Create workshop
for £200 and take home a finished self portrait.