Breaking the Glass Ceiling Of Museums by University of the Arts London
The term 'Glass Ceiling' is commonly used in the business world to describe the difficulties faced by women and minorities when trying to move into higher roles in male-dominated corporate hierarchies. Does this glass ceiling also exist in the world of art? To explore this, a visualisation was created, showing the artists whose works are owned by 14 popular museums in the United States. The visualisation highlights the balance between male and female artists, as well as their ethnicity and place of birth.
When considering the emotions associated with 'breaking the ceiling,' one thing that comes to mind is 'destruction.' Glass, sometimes appearing cool and emotionless, often has colors like grey or black. On the other hand, another emotion associated with breaking the ceiling is 'light.' Light can evoke positive impressions such as hope and warmth, providing a stark contrast to destruction.
To express these two emotions, the shapes and colors were carefully chosen. The image of breaking a glass is created using the shape of lines. Each line represents a female artist from each museum's collection, and the length of the line represents the extent to which an artist comes from a minority region or race. Additionally, a nightingale chart is used in the center to depict the ratio of female to male artists in each museum.
These lines were laser-cut onto acrylic boards to depict the image of glass. To enhance the representation of light, the paper is printed with an image of light, and when this paper is overlaid on the acrylic board, it conveys the idea that there is light behind the glass while also displaying the details of the data.