Founder of Marguerite London

06/ The Pioneer: Joanna Payne

Tell us what the idea is behind Marguerite, and how it came about?

Marguerite is the network for women who work in the visual arts. Through our programme of 40 events/year, Marguerite aims to advance the careers of women in the industry by providing a ready-made professional network and spaces in which to hear from some of the most influential people working in the creative industries today. Hosts of our events include the likes of artists, photographers, fashion designers and museum directors such as: Gavin Turk, Rankin, Alice Temperley MBE, and Maria Balshaw. 

Joanna Payne, by Luke Fullalove

After seven years of working in the art world, I felt that something needed to be done about the fact that women often found it harder to realise their potential than men. This was seemingly caused by a difference in attitude and confidence as opposed to men having some sort of superior skill set. Whilst there are many reasons for the pay gap in the UK, one of the biggest issues is women’s confidence in comparison to men’s. Women often just don’t feel as comfortable asking for a pay rise or promotion as men do. 

I’d always been made to feel hugely confident by the amazing network I’d built in my time at Frieze and wanted to share that with other women in the hope that it would do the same for them. 

As a business owner, do you have any advice to women wanting to venture out on their own?

I’d suggest making your idea into a side hustle before taking the plunge to doing it full time. Launching your project on the side of a stable job is a great way to find out whether it even works with no risk - it also allows you to keep making money whilst your business is just getting off the ground. 

Whilst you do this, get out there and meet as many people as you can. Build your professional network by going to events and asking people who inspire you for coffee so you can pick their brains!

Joanna Payne � � Luke Fullalove-0613.jpg

Who are the important women in your life?

My two best friends, Sarah and Brogan. They’re my rocks.

Who is your favourite female artist right now?

Ah, this is difficult! There are so many! But I’d have to say Juno Calypso - not only do I love her work but I also love her as a person. She hosted an event for Marguerite a few years ago and we instantly hit it off. 

What's on your reading list?

I’m actually not a great reader as I struggle to find the time to really get into books. Saying that, I was given Fleishman Is In Trouble for my birthday and am determined to read it this month as I’ve heard nothing but good things about it!

Joanna Payne � � Luke Fullalove-0652.jpg

Which Marguerite events in the near future should we look out for?

We’ve just announced our Spring Programme which includes: dinners in the homes of art patrons, Anita Zabludowicz and Maya Rasamny; a trip to Margate for tours of Tracey Emin’s brand new studio and Carl Freedman Gallery and an evening with the fashion designer, Mary Katrantzou. We’re also hosting an event with the curator of Artemisia and Editor at Large of Frieze and the host of the Bow Down podcast, Jennifer Higgie that I’m really excited about. Artemisia was a female artist practicing in the 17th Century which would have been almost completely unheard of at the time. I’m really excited to learn more about her!

Joanna 's curation

  • Incognito Sold

    I LOVE Jessica’s work and can definitely see this piece hanging above my mantle piece! Her line drawings of faces are all so simple yet so expressive.

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  • Conversations VI Sold
    Conversations VI

    I’m a huge fan of Venetia’s work as well. She draws the female form so beautifully - bumps and all!

    Venetia Berry
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  • Large Studio Nude 1 Sold
    Large Studio Nude 1 | Alexandria Coe | Original Artwork | Partnership Editions

    It’s hard to choose the piece I like most of Alex’s work as there are so many! Much like Venetia’s, I love the fact that all of her work focusses on the female form. I find her work really empowering.

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