Celebrating women cartoonists

Opening at The Cartoon Museum in London’s Bloomsbury on April 26 is The Inking Woman – proclaimed as the first comprehensive exhibition of British women cartoonists and comic artists in the UK – and the exhibition is sponsored and co-curated by card publisher Cath Tate Cards.

For the first time the work of more than 50 women cartoonists from the 18th century to the present day will be shown together, illustrating the changing ways women have viewed themselves in society and been viewed by society.

A Cath Tate card from Kate Charlesworth.
A Cath Tate card from Kate Charlesworth.

The exhibition at The Cartoon Museum will feature women cartoonists that Cath Tate first published on greeting cards over the past 30 years. Cath reveals: “I am helping to curate The Inking Woman exhibition, particularly the section that covers the women I was working with in the 80s and 90s. I started publishing postcards and then greeting cards using work by women cartoonists in the late 1980s and then became aware of how many really good cartoonists were around at the time that were virtually unknown. I wanted then to have an exhibition to show people how much talent there was and finally, now some 25 years later, it is happening!”

Cath adds: “The exhibition came about when I was with cartoonist Kate Charlesworth, and publisher of graphic novels, Corrine Pearlmann from Myriad Publications. We approached Anita O’Brien who runs The Cartoon Gallery and she agreed to have it in her gallery.”

The exhibition also illustrates the changing media that cartoons have appeared in over the past 250 years. There are prints from the 18th century, mass produced newspapers, magazines, postcards and comics through to videos, self-published zines and modern online publishing, and of course, greeting cards!

Grizelda Grizlingham is one cartoonist to feature in the exhibition, whose work is being published on greeting cards by Cath Tate. Grizelda has been a professional cartoonist for over 20 years with her cartoons appearing in The Times, Sunday Times, TES, The Big Issue, Private Eye, The Independent, as well as books and greeting cards. “What I find interesting is that the art of drawing cartoons is still so male-dominated, even now,” says Grizelda. “I can understand this for some genres such as superheroes which are drawn by men for men/boys, but it is even this way in current affairs as well. I hope that The Inking Woman exhibition will raise the profile of women cartoonists.”

Other cartoonists with greeting card-links whose art features in the show includes Bev Williams (Spring Chicken, Peartree Heybridge) and Anne Tempest (Tottering by Gently, Peartree Heybridge) and Gemma Correll (Ohh Deer).

The Inking Woman at The Cartoon Museum in Bloomsbury runs from 26 April to 24 July 2017.

Image at top: Two new designs from Cath Tate’s Grizelda Grizlingham collection.

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