THREE female artists from Belper have been shortlisted for an upcoming London exhibition.
Ruth Gray, Jenny Oldknow and Christine Gray belong to a group called Desperate Artwives described by founder Amy Dignam as a women artists “who have been putting their artistic needs on hold to attend to family and work duties but have never forgotten who they really are at heart.”
All applied separately to join the global group and were astonished to discover - not only that Christine and Ruth share the same surname - that Ruth and Jenny’s children attend the same school and in fact share the same teacher.
Italian-born conceptual artist Amy said: “They are now looking forward to travelling to the opening night together and meeting the other Desperate Artwives!”
Ruth said: “The Desperate Artwives project is global but for us it has meant that we have formed like-minded friendships and can see the potential that collaboration can bring, to work on exhibitions and events that can bring the local community together.
“Goldsmiths University has taken it up and give us a bursary to do research. Everybody does their own thing but it’s all very different. My work is abstract landscapes based on my memories of Australia. Christine does really vibrant landscapes of the local area. Jenny does pet portraits and is doing really well.”
Desperate Artwives was set up in 2011 to create an opportunity for those women who continue to produce work behind closed doors to exhibit.
Amy said: “Desperate Artwives has now become a global movement; a website and a collection of work that has been sifted and shortlisted for an upcoming London exhibition at The Vibe Gallery.
“So many women have felt inspired and empowered by this project. They get in touch telling me their life stories and thanking me for creating such a great opportunity. I am also already looking at the future.
“I would like to be touring around the UK and why not around Europe too? I’m looking for galleries, so spread the word around, it would be great to find our next venue soon!”
To find out more about Desperate Artwives visit