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Susan Hiller on being a woman artist

“I always wanted to be an artist. This was my fantasy as a child. … I had a work table with art supplies but didn’t know any female artists and, when I got older, every time a female artist’s name was mentioned, people would say, “Oh she was not very important” or, “She was a student of so and so” and, although I didn’t realise it, this was very discouraging. I still liked drawing and making things but never thought I could “be an artist” because they were men. How could I be that?”

 
 

“When I was young, being a woman was a problem because people often did not realise I was the artist in my relationship. They would talk to him, not me. Or I’d get treated by gallerists and art lecturers as if I was a groupie, not an artist. You have no idea what it was like. It has changed so much. Now we have an extraordinary number of amazing female artists.”

 

Susan Hiller at 75, interviewed by Kate Kellaway, The Guardian