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App sets out to present artist to a new and wider audience

A new app has been launched aimed at celebrating and highlighting the work of Welsh artist Gwen John.

The +Archive: Gwen John app is the second created by Swansea University’s Dr Ana-Maria Herman in a series called +Archive featuring women artists who have not had the same renown as their male contemporaries.

Dr Herman, senior Lecturer in Multimedia Design and Creative Industries Production in the School of Culture and Communication, said: “The main aim of the series is to promote the work of women artists that have been historically under- represented in the art world broadly speaking.”

Launched to coincide with Women’s International Day, the app saw Dr Herman bringing together a creative team to feature the works of Pembrokeshire-born Gwen John (1876-1939).

It features 37 images of Gwen’s artworks as well as two photographs illustrating intimate aspects of her life. Curated by Steph Roberts, a freelancer based in Wales, the app explores Gwen’s life and work through eight rooms that each shine a light her struggles, techniques and achievements as an artist.

This release follows on from Dr Herman’s first project in 2020, the +Archive: Dorothy Mead app which provided a biographical view into the life and work of mid-20th century artist Dorothy Mead (1928-1975).

This free app featured 17 of Mead’s oil and acrylic paintings and one charcoal drawing, and offered a zoom-in function, allowing users to take a closer look at each artwork.

The pieces displayed formed part of the A David Bromberg Legacy – The Sarah Rose Collection held in a storage archive at London South Bank University and was curated by Theresa Kneppers.

Dr Herman added: “Both Dorothy Mead and Gwen John were accomplished artists but were historically overlooked when compared to their male contemporaries.

Dorothy Meads contemporary, David Bromberg, was often awarded more attention and is still afforded important exhibitions while Gwen Johns brother, Augustus is still better known in the art world.

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“These apps respond to these imbalances and bring attention to both the historical issues of representation and the longstanding contributions of women’s art.”

Both apps are free and available to download now from the App store: +Archive: Gwen John app
+Archive: Dorothy Mead app