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Fighting Females

Her work is not just unique and aesthetically pleasing, but also contains an important message. She dedicated a whole series to climate change and the way our foolish behaviour is ruining the environment. Lively, colourful and playful scenes are placed in arctic landscapes. They symbolize the way mankind treats the world as an amusement park which now threatens to spread to the last untouched places of this planet; the north and south poles.

Preta Wolzak, currently living and working in the Netherlands, studied monumental design at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy from 1986 until 1991.

From that moment on she has worked in various disciplines of applied arts; Wolzak is a creative all-rounder. In her last series, Fighting Females, the artist casts a light on women who are hardly mentioned in history books, but –all in their own way- had a big impact on the world. Through colourful portraits, constructed of leather, embroidery thread, wool, and glow-in-the-dark twine, Wolzak finds a way to celebrate women who fought for a better world.

"I am always happy as a little child when i am abroad or in strange places to find wool or silk or polyester thread or fibres and thats has the effected me as if its candy i want to find different type of yarn different sequins and put everything together in my portraits or my big arctic charade."

"In my portraits i make use of threads as if it is acrylic or oil painting not thinking about what type of stitching i am doing but searching for the right shadows and texture from left to rights up and down and look at the glossy side of the Yarn."

Fighting Females

With her new series of works entitled Fighting Females Preta Wolzak honours a group of women who achieved enormous progress for their families, their village, their country, their world. Some were instrumental in improving the economy, the environment, and science. Some fought for women's rights, the position of women with AIDS, and against female genital mutilation, and scarification. Others worked hard to promote peace, or to stand up for the liberation of gay or transgender people. None of these women received sufficient recognition for their work, mainly because they were women. They were often not appreciated for their accomplishments, or even ignored and humiliated. Some sacrificed their freedom or even lost their life.


Wangari Maathai

Founder of the Green Belt Movement, an environmental nongovernmental organization focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women rights. In 1984, she was awarded the Right Livelihood Award, and in 2004, she became the first African woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize for "her contribution to sustainable development, democracy and peace Although I was a highly educated woman, it did not seem odd to me to work with my hands, often with my knees on the ground, alongside rural woman.

Some politicians and others in the 1980s and 1990s ridiculed me for doing so. But I had no problem with it, and the rural women both accepted and appreciated that I was working with them to improve their lives and the environment. After all, I was a child of the same soil. Education, if it means anything, should not take people away from land, but in still in them, even more, respect for it, because educated people are in a position to understand what is being lost. The future of the planet concerns all of us, and we should do what we can to protect it. As I told the foresters, and the women, you don't need a diploma to plant a tree. Wangarĩ Muta Maathai – Unbowed,


Marsha P johnson

Johnson was born Malcolm Michaels Jr. on August 24, 1945 Marsha was an activist and a dragqueen who fought for the rights and recognition of LGTB she identified herself as gay as a transvestite and as a queen referring to dragqueen. In 1975 she was photographed by Andy Warhol as a part of “Ladies and gentlemen” In 1992 Marsha was found dead in the Hudson river , her death is never solved. Although she had a massive head wound the police decided that is was suicide. But did they care about a black gay man?


Marie Claire

In Rwanda many of the men who returned to their villages after the civil war were infected by AIDS. Their wives were subsequently infected. This woman, Marie Claire, was infected too. And when she got pregnant, the unborn baby was also affected by the disease. She didn’t understand how she got infected because she never had another man. But after a while her husband started to admit that he had been with other women. She and her two children died of AIDS. Nowadays people don’t have to die from AIDS but in countries like Rwanda there is no money and pharmaceutical industries can't make a profit there. A lot of people are still dying of this disease.

#4 Mali

she is not an activist, but this work is about scarification it is still a common ritual by young children in Mali and other parts of Africa these young girls still children get this scarification because then they are a part of the tribe and they are more attractive for men. in my work you can’t see them anymore, in my tribute to these girls i didn’t embroider the scarification.

She is also not an activist but it is the issue about scarification, genital mutilation, and In Mali genital mutilation among very young girls is still more than 90% Ideals of Beauty, Teeth Chiseling by very young girls like this young girl said "now i am so beautiful my man will not leave me anymore"

Wolzak has also created other series with the use of Needle art of embroidery and leather such as "Everybody needs a Hero" - the real antartic pioneers and "Ma Petite Inuite" Homage to the people who are the first to deal with climate change, tourism and mining for resources.

Everybody Needs A Hero

Ma Petite Inuite

All Images copy right and courtesy of Preta Wolzak. Information courtesy and provided by Preta Wolzak.

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