This one’s for the ladies: Chatting sexism, happy accidents and making it up as you go with The Ladies Network

Sometimes a happy accident can change a life — or the world. Post-it notes, penicillin and Coca Cola were all invented purely out of luck. Sydney-based collective The Ladies Network can claim a similarly serendipitous beginning.

After a positive response following a one-off art exhibition she organised for her friends, Lara Vrkic saw the opportunity to create something much bigger and so The Ladies Network was born. And for a collective that began almost entirely by accident, it is well and truly thriving.

Images by Polly Penrose

In a world where gender equality can seem like a pipe dream, one group of women are championing females in the arts. We chat to the badasses behind The Ladies Network.

When 500 people arrived for her first exhibition, in a space that housed only 200, Lara realised she was on to something big. 

I hadn’t planned for it to be an ongoing thing,” Lara says, “but I was like ‘I have to keep this up’. After the first one, I asked Jess and Emmeline, Bella and Rosie, Eliza and Evie to be a part of it. We all had different roles and worked on the next couple of exhibitions together.”

Lara, who is now the group’s arts curator, also created a Facebook page, which became a community for artists, giving them a platform to promote their work and upcoming exhibitions.

Their page (as of September 2016) has over 8,000 likes (not to mention their 18.6 thousand Instagram followers). They hold regular exhibitions and gigs, and have collaborated with big names like Merivale and Vivid.

All this happened within the span of a year. That’s 365 days people!

The whole project has been on-the-fly, and while the women don’t yet have any formal aims for the group, they’re all about singing the praises of talented ladies everywhere.

For the entire feature grab yourself a copy of Happy Mag 3 with Jaala on the cover, a chat with Rainbow Chan, MOSSY and heaps, heaps more!