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Can you name 5 women artists?

Let's talk about black & white facts.


In the U.K., 64% of undergraduates and 65% of postgraduates in creative arts and design are women. 51% of visual artists today are women. However, women in the creative sector are only 36% of the workforce. Only 12% of creative directors are female. No women are in the top 0.03% of the art auction market, where 41% of the profit is concentrated. In London, 78% of the galleries represent more men than women.


Maketank is proudly led by females. 75% of our employees & board members identify as women or genderqueer. 80% of our resident artists are women or women-led Arts & Cultural organisations.


Now, go back to the challenge. If you struggled to name 5 women artists, meet our extraordinary women resident artists:


Val Jones

A printermaker, painter, member of the 21 group of artists, Plymouth Society of artists and the South West Academy. She shows regularly in galleries in the South West Academy. In addition to her studio and exhibition work at Maketank, she created the Creative Older Women Network and have been closely mentoring a recently emerging graduate of fine art.

Ira Labunska

Ira was awarded her PhD for research into human dietary exposure to hazardous chemicals arising from e-waste recycling, conducted jointly with the Division of Environmental Health & Risk Management at the University of Birmingham. Ira is also a professional painter with a studio at Maketank from which she mixes her artscience thinking and supports the displaced Ukrainian community. 

Suzanne Gosney

A recent first class graduate in Fine Art, Gosney is a painter of the abstract style, who also creates installations that explore her personal experiences. 


Oksana Maslyuk

A Ukrainian somatic artist working at the intersection of wellbeing and embodied practices. Originally from Kyiv, being displaced due to a war in her country, Oksana arrived in Devon in April 2022 on the Homes for Ukraine scheme.  

Caroline Mawdsley

Having worked in arts organisation in Devon for 20 years supporting artistic practice and engagement with both regional and international artists, she now teaches part time at Exeter College, while developing her own artistic practice in the studio at Maketank. The work she produces is sculptural, with some elements of film and drawing.

Polly McPherson

Polly is a Creative Practitioner, Researcher and Educator holding the academic titles Associate Professor of Design Practice and Award leader for Designer Marker at the University of Plymouth. Through her roles she aims to share her knowledge, skills and passion for creating, particularly in her founding interest of clay, which as a creative practitioner she was initially interested in due to its temperamental form and flexibility.

Annie Murdock (Previous Resident)

Annie Murdock is a conceptual artist working with craft, performance, and installation. Many of her projects involve sewing, knitting, and natural dyeing as well as the use of repurposed materials presented in a contemporary framework. She holds a MA Creative Arts in Education from the University of Exeter. She lives and works in Devon, UK.

Creative Older Women Network (CROWs)

A network of 76 creatives who participate in monthly workshops ranging from ceramics to PECHA KUCHA. The only organisation of its kind in the south west, CROW provides professional skills development and networking in a supportive environment.


Shumba Arts

Led by Denise and Allan, Shumba Arts is a community arts organisation passionate about creating inclusive and empowering participative experiences which enrich people’s lives and pay respect to the pan-African traditions which inspire and inform us. With an excellent track record in delivering high quality workshops, performance and creative development opportunities, Shumba Arts brings people from all walks of life together through music, dance and song, to create, empower and celebrate embodied connections, healthy communities and vibrant culture. 


Led by Valentina, Trikkeballakke is a Southern Italian Folk music and Dance group that reflects the many cultural influences of the larger Mediterranean heritage. Working to preserve and revamp this heritage, Trikkeballakke honours and upholds music as a universal language, and a bridge across diverse cultures and ways of life. The group is comprised of musicians from different cultural backgrounds and has performed at many local festivals and other far-reaching events (Exeter Respect Festival, Exeter Street Arts Festival, Exeter International Women’s Festival & March, Tribe of Doris, Totnes and Bridgetown Festival of Arts and Culture). 






ITV News. International Woman's Day: What it's like being a woman in the creative industry sector


Creative Equals. The 30 women trailblazing in creative right now


National Museum of Women in the Arts. #5WomenArtists


National Museum of Women in the Arts. Get the Facts


Tate. What does it mean to be a woman in art?

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