International Women’s Day, an Architect & Artist
Fine Art and Real Estate Broker Anna D. Smith celebrates International Women’s Day by honoring Iraqi born architect Zaha Hadid, and Spanish born Street artist Lula Goce.
For over a century, every March 8th has been International Women’s Day. In 1908, 15,000 women marched through New York City to demand shorter work hours, better pay and the right to vote. A year later, the Socialist Party of America declared the first National Woman’s Day.
The idea to make the day international came from Clara Zetkin. She suggested the idea in 1910 at an International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen, Denmark. 100 women were in attendance from 17 countries who unanimously agreed on her suggestion .
It was first celebrated in 1911, in Austria, Denmark, Germany and Switzerland, and its centenary celebration was in 2011. It became officially recognized by the United Nations in 1975.
International Female Architect
Zaha Mohammad Hadid (1950 – 2016) was born in Baghdad, Iraq, to an upper class family. Her father had become a wealthy industrialist who co-founded the National Democratic Party in Iraq. Her mother was an artist; while her brother was a writer. Hadid’s early childhood trips to the ancient Sumerian cities in southern Iraq sparked her interest in architecture. In the 1960s she attended boarding schools in England and Switzerland.
Hadid studied mathematics at the American University of Beirut before moving, in 1972, to London to study at the Architectural Association School of Architecture.
Searching for an alternative system to traditional architectural drawing, and influenced both by Suprematism and the Russian avant-garde, she adopted painting as a design tool and abstraction as an investigative principle to “reinvestigate the aborted and untested experiments of Modernism.
A professor described her at graduation as “a planet in her own orbit,” and the most outstanding pupil he had ever taught. “We called her the inventor of the 89 degrees. Nothing was ever at 90 degrees,” the professor declared. Years later, the UK’s The Guardian would share a similar sentiment, calling her “Queen of the curve”; “who liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity”.
In 1980, after becoming a naturalized British citizen, she opened her own architectural firm, Zaha Hadid Architects in London. Besides her career as an architect, she taught at the Architectural Association, Harvard Graduate School of Design, Cambridge University, the University of Chicago, the Hochschule für bildende Künste in Hamburg, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Columbia University.
In 1988 she was one of seven architects chosen to exhibit their drawings and paintings in the exhibition Deconstructivism in Architecture curated by Philip Johnson and Mark Wigley at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. Later, a conference at the Tate Museum, along with press coverage began to get her name out into the architecture world.
In 2004 she became the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize. In 2010 she received the UK’s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize.
In 2012 she was made a Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II. In February of 2016, the month preceding her death, Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid became the first woman to be individually awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects.
International Female Street Artist
Lula Goce (1976 – ) was born in Galicia, Spain [https://www.lulagoce.com]. Galicia, which is located in the far west of Spain is surrounded by both the Atlantic Ocean and the Cantabrian Sea. The area is famous for its extensive green forests, green wooded valleys, wild beaches and lighthouses, and had a very powerful positive impact on Goce growing up.
At 20 she moved away to Salamanca and graduated in fine arts specializing in painting. Later, she went to Barcelona where she studied a PhD as well as a Master in artistic creation at The Fine Art University of Barcelona. Barcelona had a huge underground graffiti scene, and Goce became part of the art collectives developing in old factories like Hangar, Caminal or La Escocesa in Poblenou. There, she became a member of the raw street art collective and developed her technique on the streets and walls of Barcelona.
Her working life has always been linked to art, from graphic designer to being a collaborator and producer on several art projects. She does independently commissioned projects as well. To her astonishment, she found there existed a direct interaction with spectators when committing a huge street piece to a wall and the muscularity required to bring about its revelation. The dialogue that is established between both passers-by and residents, as the work takes shape. Once completed, it alters the community spaces and neighborhoods for the better. The fact these pieces become integral to the areas brings Doce to new heights of artistic creation.
In 2020, the United Nations Women and the Generation Equality Forum partnered with Street Art for Mankind to create a series of three murals around the world by prominent women street artists. The aim of these murals was to use art to bring visionary clarity for the acceleration of progress in global gender equality. The first mural was created by Adry del Rocio in Mexico during the Mexico Forum in March, the second was created by Lula Goce in Paris during the Paris Forum in June, and the third mural in New York was created by artist Vinie Graffiti. Goce’s mural Knowledge II is located in Paris 18th, 3 rue Caulaincourt, (on Mercure Montmartre hotel’s façade).
Goce’s The Alchemist in the Belgian capital, Brussels is the first in a series of 50 murals which will be painted over the next 10 years in cities across the world to encourage the ecological restoration of damaged or dying ecosystems. “Mother Nature protecting her herd,” declares Goce:
This mural, this lady, is a metaphor of Mother Nature taking care of the environment and trying to preserve a space for all the animals in the herd. She is trying to protect it and is watching us as we have the responsibility to protect it.
“Scientists tell us we only have ten more years to switch from exploiting ecosystems to reviving them instead. This can be achieved, but action is needed from across society”, says Veronika Hunt Safrankova, Head of the Brussels office of the UN Environment programme (UNEP) adding that “artists can play a central role in spreading the message.”
Whether it is African American mathematician Katherine Johnson who calculated the trajectories for John Glenn’s Friendship 7 mission to become the first American to orbit Earth, or Swedish born Greta Thunberg’s planetary crusade to save Mother Earth, these women, along with Dame Zaha Mohammad Hadid, and Lula Goce are the living documents that little girl dreams can become the big dreams for an entire planet.
Want more of this kind of content? Be sure to read my two blogs for Women History Month, “5 Women Artists in the Underground Art World,” and “5 Notable Women in Real Estate.”
For Woman’s History Month, Mar 1 – 31, 2022, Fine Art and Real Estate Broker Anna D. Smith is taking a $1000,00 off on all prints priced over a $1,000.00, by California prison artist Donald “C-Note” Hooker.
Visit the Home Page to shop for over 200 Art prints by C-Note, the world’s most prolific prison artist.
Enter the discount code EGDKTC. This offer expires on Mar 31.
If you know someone whose International Women’s Day story should be told, tell me and my audience about them in the reply.