Liene Steinberga Cesar

Liene Steinberga Cesar was born in Latvia. She studied Fine Art Photography at Camberwell College of Art. She lives and works in Margate.

The different stages in life and the roles that we fall into are a major factor in her work. She questions everyday occurrences and commonalities and works with what's familiar to her – the female body, womanhood, femininity.

Her work deconstructs the female body and role. Based in feminist theory, it looks at mundane, rarely questioned and unnoticed personal experiences. These fluctuations in consciousness make a mark or thought that is visualised. The personal is political.  

Liene has participated in several exhibitions in the UK and her work is in private collections.


I come from a background of a BA hons degree Graphic Design and about a 15-year term working in animation, primarily 2D illustrative animation for clients such as the BBC and Channel 4 as well as various TV titles and programme inserts. I then moved more into doing illustration work, working in a variety of different styles, painting, collage, drawing, mosaic and ceramic. When working on animation commissions each job has a different feel, so it was natural to take this freedom of working into my illustration work. I find storytelling an important aspect of the images that I work on as well as social comment, the environment and people. I am also currently doing a Practice of Painting degree with the Open College of Arts.

Rose Davies

Graduating from Art College at the end of the 70’s, I survived punk, post-modernism and the rise of Thatcherism with my belief in traditional art values and particularly drawing, intact. Graduating in printmaking, I continued to draw after leaving college, but like many other struggling young artists at that time I developed a secondary career, spending many years working with drug / alcohol dependent people, the homeless and those with criminal behaviour, in Wales and England.

At the turn of the century, I started to move back into the arts, becoming an artist/member of Swansea Print Workshop, and collaborating with several artist collectives. I now work full time on developing my arts practice and building a body of work from my studio in the city centre and instigating democratic public access art events and projects.

I have exhibited my work in Wales, England, the USA, Australia, New Zealand and Pakistan and done artist residencies in Idaho, USA and Rawalpindi, Pakistan. I am an active blogger, publishing an artblog every day on and am also on Facebook as Rosie Scribblah: Printmaker and Scribbler; on Twitter as @RosieScribblah and on YouTube as Rosie Scribblah.

Cecile Emmanuelle Borra

Cécile Emmanuelle Borra is a French born, London based artist, graduate of Goldsmiths College. Working from a feminist perspective and drawing from the writings of Judith Butler, Giles Deleuze and Isabel Preciado, her art practise continues a longstanding investigation into the condition of spectatorship and most particularly into the relationship between Desire and the Gaze. She has been exhibiting nationally and internationally, including recent shows (2016) at the ICA and The Showroom, London.

Mandy Webb

I am a mixed media Artist/Social Commentator.

I have created two collections of work surrounding issues relating to: 1. my HIV Positive status, and 2. Gender/Social Issues.

I work with a variety of mediums, whichever relates best to the pieces being created for each collection. I have used out of date condoms and red ribbons and hand-made HIV medication that all symbolise my journey as an HIV Positive female, and have also created a ‘Luxury Collection’ inspired by the ‘Luxury Tax’ on feminine health products utilising Panty Pads/Liners in huge numbers in a very decorative and sculptural fashion.

Some of my pieces heavily rely on the research of people from the past and people from the present, these names are a constant reminder of lives that may not have been duly recognised for their artistic talent, or the inhumane treatment they experienced while alive but they all deserve recognition.

As a social commentator and as an artist, I have always believed it essential to create from the heart to raise awareness through the quality and content of each of the pieces that are made, thoroughly researching and attempting to create eye catching and thought provoking work to back up that evidence.

Seana Wilson

Seana is an artist-researcher facilitating the investigation and dissemination of feminism in art through art exhibitions, panel discussions and other events as well as installation art, sound and performance. Her work explores feminism, activism and the monstrous feminine within popular culture. She has presented work in galleries, festivals and venues in the UK, including the WOW festival, Feminism in London Conference and Secret Garden Party. Originally from Texas, Seana has a strong link with collaborative and collective art making with a politicized attitude demonstrating the relevance of feminist art in today’s society. 


Lara Small is a founder of SmallHillArts, a collaboration who work with natural, found and reused materials to spread art and craft throughout their community. She is a collector of interesting things and works with historical collections, fashion and textiles.  She explores traditional making techniques using antique machinery to create modern usable items.

SmallHillArts are a collaboration of two artists who work with natural, found and reused materials to spread art and craft throughout their community.  By teaching basic sewing skills our collaboration aims to re-establish the skills link, lost, as our communities separate and families live miles apart. It makes spaces where anyone can create art from things that are freely or cheaply available to all. It grows communities, encourages people to practice, share and pass on skills to the next generation. Our emphasis is on sustainability and self reliance through growing self confidence in art practice. Our workshops are inclusive and accessible to all abilities to spread this practice and develop our local community. 

Buttons have a place in our history as women. Our grandmothers and their forbearers collected buttons as a commodity to be reused and many collections have been inherited. Beautiful interesting and historical objects, buttons are a useful and practical part of women’s history. Many women are captivated by button boxes and get lost in sorting and touching the buttons. By using and displaying these buttons we are recognising the value that they have to women who take refuge in their link to our past. It shows their individual beauty, their style, and inspires a delicate interest.  

The Crowther Family Collection

The Family Collection represents a galaxy of stars. The collection has belonged to the artist as long as her interest in the beauty of space.  The raw cotton textile has been unwoven and used as thread. The buttons still have potential to be used in a different way as the thread ends have been left uncut to show where to start to unpick. It still remains, a useful button box. 

Beautiful interesting and historical objects, buttons are a useful and practical part of our history. Many women are captivated by button boxes and get lost in sorting and touching the buttons. By using and displaying these buttons we are recognising the value that they have to women who take refuge in their link to our past. It shows their individual beauty, their style, and inspires a delicate interest. 

FiLia Banner

This work is a new Suffragette banner made for the inauguration of the new charity FiLia. FiLia, meaning daughter, evokes the intention to steadfastly continue the work of our foremothers to create a better world for our daughters.

Incorporating the Suffragette colours of white (Purity), green (Hope) and purple (Freedom and Dignity), the historical collection which forms the core of the buttons has been joined by other green and purple additions. The buttons are sewn in purple thread. The work is backed with a simple white, green and purple flag. SmallHillArts have created this piece with the help of FiLiA members and supporters. It forms a founding historical artefact for the organisation of FiLiA and is a banner to march under.



Yodet Gherez

'I use different mediums in my work. Painting, instillations, and video has been my main craft. Identity and ideology are key themes that run through my work. And practical and theoretical enquiry that arises from questioning heritage, national background and global politics. 

My practice has always been influenced by my difficulty in finding and positively inhabiting a sense of place in the world.

Being a black East African, working class woman has problematised my understanding of society, as I have had to struggle against many inequalities whilst also questioning aspects of my own heritage. For example, whilst growing up I have questioned my religious culture and traditional customs, leading me to question issues such as authority, orthodoxy and dogma which has informed my art practice.

Since gaining a BA in Fine Art I have continued to work creatively, regularly attending exhibitions and experimenting artistically. I have been very politically active in organising cultural events, street subvertising and hosting a radio show on Resonance FM. A key issue for me has been becoming a mother and I am keen to explore the unique insight that I have gained from that experience relative to existing political sex discrimination. The experience of motherhood has added layers of maturity to developing my perspective as an individual and I want to channel this into my practice.

I have always used art as a tool for communication, it is a means for self reflection and a form of learning, through which to interpret and process my subjective experiences relative to the world around me. I have a desire to form challenging and engaging critical discourse with the observer. The artists who currently are having the most influence on me are the Feminists Sarah Maple, Frida Kahlo, The Guerrilla Girls, Mierle Laderman Ukeles and Carrie Mae Weems. Also Surrealists Rene Magritte and Marcel Duchamp as well as contemporary video Artist Omer Fast continue to inspire me. I love art that questions reality, rocks the status quo and shatters the illusion of banality.'

Sheree Naqvi

Sheree Naqvi examines the complexity of gender through exploring the notion of female identity within the Eastern contemporary society. She explores dichotomies; male/female, public/private, active/passive - prescribed gender roles within a male dominated culture. Living between two opposite cultures, East and West, Naqvi questions her female identity – questions her own presence through performance, photography, sound and installation.

Her personal experiences are manipulated to build visual languages confronting cultural personas and private desires. She comments upon female representation through exploring the concept of female space and domestic responsibilities. The work challenges, exploring inconsistent realities and the hypocrisy that lies within the male environment. Her work reveals female desires and isolation of both, searching for liberation and a secure place. Black and white maintains the ambiguity of being consumed by her personal conflict - female vulnerability is questioned. Her self-portraits confront the society in which female fundamental rights are lost under a masculine society.

'I want my work to be a hope for women and a powerful voice that will never be silent' 

Sarvenaz Keyhani

Dr Sarvenaz Keyhani is a psychiatrist working in general adult psychiatry in London. As well as a psychiatristshe is an artist and has been featured in the British Journal of Psychiatry.

Her work at FiLiArt, "Silent Cry", was done in 2001; it took a few months to finish the painting. It’s in oil paint, showing a scene of disaster, figures shouting and screaming but no one can hear them. Goya is one of her favourite painters and I love his paintings especially ‘The 3rd of May’ showing execution of Spanish rebels by the French army and how timeless that painting is. Similary, the clothing for the people in this painting is omitted, so they can belong to any time and any disaster showing the horrors of wars.

Sarbjit Johal

I am an artist and an activist based in London. Most of my paintings are of women and particularly on the struggles faced by South Asian Women. I am an active member South Asia Solidarity Group (an anti-imperialist, anti-racist organisation based in Britain) and Freedom Without Fear Platform (an arena for Black, South Asian and 'Minority Ethnic' women to lead discussions on the violence against women and girls). I paint because it allows me to express my emotions, reflect more deeply and at the same time gives me the space to feel free to be myself.

This painting is of Darshan Kaur and Surinder Bassi, who were shop stewards at the Burnsall Strike (Birmingham 1992-1993). Surrender Bassi is speaking at the fund raising event which was held at the Camden Centre in 1992 and organised by the London Support group. 

The strike involved about 26 mainly Asian women workers. It was in a small metal finishing factory in Smethwick. The strikers were working in inhuman conditions and being denied breaks, sick pay and being forced to do overtime. Once on strike the strikers made links with the refugee community by mobilising support for protests against the draconian 1993 asylum and immigration appeals act which was being passed at the time. The strike was supported by a number of community groups and womens groups and students across the country. The punjabi text in Surinder’s hand translates as: ‘Without struggle there is no satisfaction’

Natasha Redina

The word ritual is often associated with archaic and superstitious practices. Yet what I have found both through my cross-cultural research and also through my work as a psychotherapist is that creative ritual, at it’s basic form, offers a safe liminal space within which meaningful transformation can begin to occur. It is an opportunity to initiate or mark change on both personal and collective levels.

The dictionary definition of refuge is the state of being safe or sheltered from pursuit, danger or difficulty. Many of the men and women I have worked with, have not found refuge within the homestead, which is often the site of loss, conflict and trauma, and have instead found it through their own inner work and connection to nature. Finding refuge both within the Self and through feeling part of and connected to nature can often be a profoundly healing experience.

The films I make offer rare insights into some of these creative rituals, and it is hoped they open up the opportunity for women to tell their own stories, which spring from their embodied experiential realities. 


Ludmila Christeseva

Moving from patriarchal Belarus to Sweden, a country of gender equality seemed to provide me with an opportunity for personal development and an inspiration to explore the notion of femininity.

I began my career working for Lars Wallin, the famous Swedish haute-couture designer. Every day we made the test versions of new dresses – toiles, in order to check how design and body interact, bringing in changes when necessary. Then we would throw the toiles away until I started saving them. 

Toile is a unique material that speaks of the same processes, which takes place in each of us - transitions, transformations, and learning. Moreover, I saw a narrative potential in the discarded toiles and a metaphorical relationship to my Belarusian identity, which didn’t resonate so well with the Swedish style of femininity and had to be negotiated.

The recycling of toiles allowed me as an artist to re-consider what is traditional and familiar to all of us, female imagery: sewing, washing, stitching, ironing, and caring. To become a good wife and a loving mother, combined with domestic duties constitute an archetype, which the majority of Belarusian women inherit from their mothers.

When I consider the practices of sewing, embroidery, washing and knitting as just a few examples of our female "dowry", I ask, "What do they mean to me today?" Are these tasks entirely designed to be performed by women and which are identified with femininity, or are these domestic activities which anyone can choose? 

Toiles serve as an important artistic medium for me to share my own story, my mother’s story, her mother’s story, her sister’s story, and other women’s stories. Through the installations with toiles, I provide an opportunity to reflect on the boundaries between society and the individual, consumption culture and the body, fashion and costume, traditions and trends.

L.Christeseva participates in various art projects both in Sweden and worldwide. Her artistic research focuses on gender identity and questions relating to representation across cultures. After graduating from Vitebsk State Technological University in 2001, the faculty of Fashion and Textile design, L.Christeseva moved to Sweden, where she joined the creative team of the Swedish designer Lars Wallin. She also holds degrees from Stockholm University and The University College of Arts, Crafts and Design (Konstfack). L.Christeseva works in various media such as painting, illustration, photography, video art, public art, artist authored books and publications and art installations.

Leah Thorn, Allie Lee and Clare Unsworth

Leah Thorn is a spoken word poet, published through performance, film and anthologies in England and the United States. At the heart of her poetry is the autobiographical exploration of identity and issues of liberation.

Leah leads workshops in prisons that use poetry as provocation and witness. In 2012 she undertook a Winston Churchill Travel Fellowship, visiting women's correctional facilities across the United States with dance and theatre companies and in 2013 she received a Royal Society for Public Health Special Commendation Award for her contribution to Creative Arts and the Criminal Justice System.

For the 2016 FiLiArt show, she is showing collaborations with Allie Lee and Clare Unsworth.

Clare Unsworth is a Folkestone-based filmmaker with a focus on collaborative arts projects and social issues.

Allie Lee is a painter of portraits, nudes and still-life, with a recent foray into the world of painting with thread which developed from joining the Profanity Embroidery Group in Whitstable, Kent.

Kate Aries

My work consists of performance, moving image and photography. I begin with an initial, personal attraction to an object or place and then this immediate response becomes more complex as I build on it through research and conversations. Uncertainty underpins my experimentation, often using these objects and different techniques to obscure or restrict the body. This creates an oscillation between a position of sexuality and one of vulnerability. I tend to view my work as documentation of a performance, portraying the ‘lived body’, by capturing movement and emotion.

I use the female body in response to my transition into a young woman, questioning my identity in the contemporary world as a woman physically, sexually, virtually and digitally. I have grown to realise how ingrained everyday sexism is in our society, feminism and female solidarity have become a substantial kernel in my practice, as well as adverse effects of isolation and helplessness.

A great deal of the way that body is thrown back to us in the current mediatised world is through digital mediation. My practice focuses not only on the body as an embodied experience, but also the manipulated and processed image and the mutability of identities in an increasingly mediatized society. Devices and digital technologies provide new ways of seeing, as well as being seen, changing the way we relate to the image and, ultimately, each other.  I am concerned with exploring this new materiality in this media and the experience of the viewer haptically, a phenomenological notion of ‘embodied spectatorship’, using a hand-eye element to feel the sensation of touch solely through the act of seeing. I intend to raise questions about the way we view women in a digital landscape and use technology to create the illusion of substance within the virtual world.

Hong Dam

Hong’s artistic expression is rooted in her experience as an eight year old girl as one of the ‘Vietnamese Boat People’ fleeing Vietnam for Hong Kong before arriving in the UK in 1980.

Her exploration of displacement and exile through art has come after a career as a digital artist. She explains, “For many years I was reluctant to be an artist. Primarily because I was a refugee. I felt that I need to do something practical to earn a wage.” Accordingly, she graduated with a BA (Hons) Degree in Fine Art Sculpture followed by an MA 3D Computer Visualisation and Animation, and since 1996 has worked as Digital Artist on major Feature Films including: Babe Pig n the City, 10,000 BC and Ridley Scott’s epic film Gladiator.

Her father’s passing and the birth of her two daughters made her reconsider her decision.

“In recent years I could not deny my urge to tell my story through art, using the skills I have obtained in the film industry. I feel this is my destiny especially after the passing of my father. The many stories of unsung heroes left untold. I feel that my artwork benefits others and they enjoy it. I have mastered the skills that I need to create and communicate my visions. I am beginning to realised that Art could transcend language barriers, gender, sex, race, colour and religion. I started my childhood memories project 5 years ago when my daughter Jessica and Amelia was 10 and 6. My daughter brought brought me back to my own childhood. Seeing my two daughter at a similar age to myself when I first left Vietnam as a Boat Refugee made me felt that as if we were living on two parallel worlds, East and West, rich and poor.”

Hong has spent the last 5 years putting together a visual diary of digital art work of childhood memories for her daughters, a diary that honours the unsung heroes in times of adversity that sacrificed for their loved ones without medals and honours.

She’s run Artist Open Houses and exhibitions, with her personal work exhibited in various prestigious galleries such as: The Mall Galleries (London), The Smith Gallery (London) Righton Gallery (Manchester) and Maidstone Museum and Art Gallery.

Her work is a journey of self discovery, exploring universal themes of love, loss, separation and hope – and also those of other Vietnamese boat children.

Gemma Nelson

“Highly obsessive and organic in construction, my paintings weave like cells, creating delicate chaotic tapestries in response to various themes such as female sexuality, fairytales and notions of webbing and nets.

In other works patterning and totemic tattoos are very strong influences.  

Using Indian inks and mixed media on canvas, her paintings are high pitched in colour, creating illusionary spaces, surfaces and worlds that are both resonant and abstract.

My paintings are objects of condensed time, also suggesting disruption, mutation and beauty.”

Gemma Nelson was born 1984, in West Yorkshire, United Kingdom. She moved to London in 2003 where she attended the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London and graduated in 2007.

Since 2010 Gemma Nelson has been represented by VEGAS in East London and had her first solo show, Hello Carousel with them in July 2011.

She has shown work with them internationally in Amsterdam and Brussels as well as group exhibitions in London. In 2011 Gemma Nelson was selected to exhibit work at the Dulwich Picture Gallery Bicentenary Exhibition. Gemma Nelson currently lives and works in London.