We posted online a bit earlier today a news item based around the Guardian ‘s list of the 1,000 artworks to see before you die. Bit of fun, most of it. The most striking result, though, is probably the low representation of women among the artists – a mere 3.3%.

Rather than going over why this result may have come about, it reminded me of a related issue, which is age limits for art prizes. There is the occasional art prize in Ireland which has an age limit attached – eg, the artist must be under 40 to enter. It strikes me that this requirement is not just ageist but also sexist. It is a very common pattern that women get tied up with family matters and only start to reclaim their careers around the age of 40, too late for some of these prizes.

Much better to target ’emerging artists’, regardless of age, with these prizes.