TDK were delighted to catch up with Lara Vrkic, founder and curator of The Ladies Network. We hear about empowering female creatives, their exhibition at Vivid and why it’s important not to go to bed angry.
Give us the elevator pitch on what you do.
The Ladies Network is a Sydney based creative agency. We seek out and create opportunities to showcase female creatives in a number of fields. We work over various mediums with our main offerings being our blow out group exhibitions (or parties as they are often labelled) and our website which we have just recently started selling art from. We take pride in creating a positive, inclusive and supportive environment for both men and women to learn more about the creative contribution of women. Whilst we are based in Sydney we have grown to support talent from interstate and most recently overseas.
What does a typical working day include for you right now?
Every day is incredibly different. Because we are so new we are constantly inspired by the people we work with in getting ideas for events and projects. Some days we will be working on installing an exhibition and others may consist of being in our office emailing artists that we are huge fan girls of to see if they would be interested in being part of an event or having work listed on our site. My job in particular can involve a lot of emailing.
Tell us about any collaborations you have been working on.
We are currently working on so many projects with brands that we would love to be able to share but cant just yet! We have a big VIVID exhibition planned for the start of June in collaboration with Catalogue Magazine. The exhibition will feature photography by women who are reclaiming the gaze in their photos. Alongside the exhibition Catalogue Magazine have curated a panel discussion on how fashion can empower women and it involves some incredible women. It’s incredible to be given the opportunity to collaborate with brands like Catalogue because, for our artists, it means greater exposure and a greater chance that they will be able to build sustainable careers from their work.
What has been your highlights since you started out?
While we understood how important a project like ours was we never imagined it would be as well received as it has been. It’s such a thrill every time we receive an email from someone explaining how much they love what we have created and how it has helped them feel more inspired and confident. Similarly its a great feeling when artists email us wanting to exhibit work in a show or be featured on our website. Our show, in partnership with aMBUSH gallery at the end of 2015, was a huge highlight because it has been our biggest show to date. We were fortunate to have the space for a week and we got to meet so many people that had followed The Ladies Network since the beginning. The people that follow and support everything we put our name on are the biggest highlight of the whole project.
What has been some of the biggest lessons you’ve learnt along the way?
1) While its good to have goals I’ve learnt to not assume everything will go the way I have planned (because it hasn’t and doesn’t). 2) I’ve learnt to be flexible and agile to opportunities that have come my way. 3) The harder you work the more it pays off. Thought this one was just a way my parents got me to do my homework in Primary School but its true. 4) I’ve realised that it helps immensely to surround yourself with people that you trust and who inspire you. 5) I’ve learnt to accept criticism as an opportunity. 6) I always try not to go to bed feeling uninspired or angry because a lot of my ideas come from my dreams.
What’s the big goal in the next five years?
In the next five years we are hoping to expand what we do further interstate and hopefully overseas. We want to be working with more brands and on bigger projects. While we want to grow in size we always maintain that we are all for emerging artists and creating spaces for them to be shown alongside established artists. It would be amazing if we could have bases all over the place sharing the incredible work women are creating everyday. We would also love to be able to set up a permanent gallery space with an all female collection!