A one-off exhibition entitled Spirit of Womanhood is to be launched by the Women’s Interfaith Network in celebration of International Women’s Day.
Hundreds of female artists from around the world were invited to submit their personal takes on the show's title in an effort to spark a global, interfaith dialogue.
Leading figures from the art world have selected the winning pieces to be displayed at London's Oxo Tower Wharf from 20 March, with English artist Tracey Emin and leading QC Cherie Blair backing the event.
Spirit of Womanhood presents artists’ personal takes on their womanhood, including a wide range of paintings, drawings, sculptures, photography and ceramics.
Sebnem Ugural's "Pinhole" offers a striking insight into 'the individual and universal soul of womanhood', while Aileen Kelly's "School Number One" pays tribute to women's resilience in the midst of mayhem.
In pictures: Spirit of Womanhood finalists
In pictures: Spirit of Womanhood finalists
1/11 'Diversity' - Siddiqa Juma
Siddiqa's art is guided by Islamic tradition and the teachings of the Qur'an, celebrating her rich cultural and religious heritage. She moved to England from East Africa aged 14 and later studied graphic design. Siddiqa's paintings are full of vibrant colours and intricate patterns, uneviling her eagerness to engage with her faith.
2/11 'Piligrimage' - Siddiqa Juma
This second painting from Siddiqa further depicts her fixation with Hajj - the pilgrimage to Mecca that each Muslim aims to complete at least once in their life-time. Siddiqa's yearning to do so herself can be sensed in her work.
3/11 'Une Fenêtre' - Sally Faure
Sally's painting is a close-up of a veiled woman's eye. The artist was inspired by a debate in France on whether Muslims should be allowed to wear the veil in schools. 'Regarding my ethnicity paintings, my women (as I like to call them) are free,' she says. 'They simply embrace their ancestors' customs.'
4/11 'Peppi Knott' - Wendy Elia
Wendy's 'Histories in Age of Confusion' pieces celebrate British multi and mixed race women. She says: 'My sitters always stare back at the viewer refusing to be passive, they confront us and invite us into their world on their terms through a celebration of their cultural and ethic histories.'
5/11 'Flora' - Clare Lewington
Clare specialises in portrait photography. 'Flora' depicts a woman from the Kasigua Basket Weaver's initiative in Kenya. The determined and talented ladies weave brightly-coloured baskets in all shapes and sizes. The baskets are then sold through markets and provide a sustainable source of income for the whole community, allowing the women to provide for their families in times of hardship.
6/11 'Pinhole' - Sebnem Ugural
Turkish photographer and women's rights activist Sebnem started making her own pinhole cameras. She takes self portraits where she is both the observer and the observed at the same time. Her photographs aim to capture both the individual and universal soul of womanhood. She says: 'I try to show we, as women, can have and decide on our own interests. We are not only bodies.'
7/11 'School Number One' - Aileen Kelly
Aileen says: 'Having been brought up in Northern Ireland I understand the importance of dialogue between the different religious sections of society. As a young catholic I rarely encountered any children of differing faiths or ethnic backgrounds. In the midst of daily murders and mayhem it was women who held communities and families together. They were resilient and had an ability to take a broader view.'
8/11 'Inside I' - Belgin Bozsahin
Turkish sculptor Belgin's 'Inside' artworks are constructed from deconstructed female forms with hard crusted exteriors contrasting soft-coloured, smooth interior surfaces. She says: 'My sculptures are developed from my own feeling of how I am inside myself and how the interaction of an exterior life demands layers, a thicker skin, which whilst protecting also conceals and disguises, challenges an observer to look past it, (and to remind myself) to see what beauty, delight and surprises lie within.'
9/11 'Opening' - Belgin Bozsahin
Belgin says: 'This piece is a return to my layered body-cast works. The hand from the heart creates an opening allowing a possibility to both give and receive. A woman's heart opens and so much can materialise.'
10/11 'Where's My Other Shoe' - Aimie Herbert
Aimie recently completed her BA in Fine Art at Brighton University. She says: 'Where's My Other Shoe' is a humourous piece that depicts the day to day life of a woman and looks at the independence that can come with occupation, growing up and being a woman.'
11/11 'Lost and Found' - Aimie Herbert
Aimie continues: 'My paintings focus on what it's like to be a woman and they have a powerful sentiment to them. The show paintings look at a woman's love for shoes, wearing that shoe and being that shoe, putting that shoe on and being a woman, the love for womanhood in all its glory.'
Siddiqa Juma's Islamic-centred paintings are colourful and intricate, presenting her devotion to life as a Muslim and her yearning to complete the Hajj pilgrimage.
A Muslim woman is portrayed in Sally Faure's intriguing "Une Fenêtre". "Regarding my ethnicity paintings, my women (as I like to call them) are free," she says. "They simply embrace their ancestors' customs, what their oral society has been able to preserve despite all kinds of invasion even from their own country.
"In another point of view, what one should think about 11-year-old brides, presented at a summer fair like 'livestock sales'..."
Speaking of her own multicultural background, Emin, whose most famous works include "My Bed" and "Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995", said: "My great great grandfather was a slave in the Ottoman Empire. My father was a Turkish Cypriot. He was a Muslim who grew up in a Greek village and spoke Turkish with a Greek accent.
"My mother is British. She grew up in London’s East End. She comes from a family of long-time gypsies.
"Me, I am an international artist. I exhibit all over the world. I am very happy to take part in this exhibition.”
Founded in 2004 by Lady Gilda Levy and Pinky Liliani, the Women's Interfaith Network fights to promote understanding and tackle prejudice between women of different faiths across the UK.
Spirit of Womanhood, which marks the organisation's 10th anniversary, is intended to embody its strong spirit and values.
The exhibition runs from 20-30 March at gallery@oxo with above images courtesy of the Women's Interfaith NetworkReuse content