Number 13 is lucky for Grant

Ditchling Artists' open house group. Art work by Grant Dejonge
Ditchling Artists' open house group. Art work by Grant Dejonge

Thirteen is a lucky number for Plumpton artist Grant Dejonge who is on a mission to celebrate International Women’s Day.

Last year, an exhibition called ‘13 Women’ was staged by ‘I Love Art UK’ at Brighton’s Jubilee Library.

It was an all-female affair and the exhibition was so successful it is running again this year with one, significant difference – it will include blokes.

Grant, who is one of the male artists taking part, said: “This popular event celebrates the rise of gender equality world-wide and as well as 13 female artists it also features 13 men.

“It’s a truly international show covering many artistic styles and disciplines and it also showcases Brighton as a major independent cultural hub with artists at its centre.”

Grant, who is married to fashion illustrator Jacqueline Bissett, added: “The aim is to celebrate the strength of men and women working together to achieve common goals.”

Sarah Gillings, who founded I Love Art UK, is organising the Brighton event.

She said: “International Woman’s Day is a time to celebrate the numerous achievements of women throughout history. During the last 100 years alone, women have come a long way.

“Although there are still countries where women lack basic human rights, in many countries they now enjoy freedom of speech, rights to divorce, equal voting rights and equal rights in the workplace.

“Men have supported women in their campaign and we want to salute them. We aim to explore the similarities between men and women, instead of the differences.”

Encapsulating her views on this year’s exhibition, which has ‘Transition’ as its theme, Sarah said: “We aim to be pro-woman and not anti-man.”

All works presented in the exhibition will be available for sale – either as originals or affordable prints.

Sarah said: “With the retailing of high-quality reproductions, the artists will benefit from long-term returns on their bequeathed artwork, after the show.”

The 2012 inaugural run of ‘13 Women’ attracted more than 42,000 visitors. The 2013 event is likely to be just as popular and takes place from 10am to 5pm on March 1-15. Entry is free.

An open evening to coincide with ‘International Woman’s Day’ will be hosted on March 8 (8pm to 10.30pm).