Alexandra Florschutz

“My art is all about Liberating the Feminine. My paintings capture the symbolic essence, the energy, the sensual juiciness of the vulva; they are evocative rather than literal. Each painting is an individual representation of an energetic process to celebrate and empower the Feminine.

The female reproductive system and genitalia are the most impressive parts of being a woman and yet they have been the most shamed, abused and violated. Women have become sexualised objects, where external features define a woman as ‘good enough’ for the male gaze and any natural bodily functions are suppressed or extensively sanitised. The vulva/vagina, in particular, is still seen as shameful, dirty or ‘looks wrong’ and the expectation is that only a man can ignite its pleasure. I am here to bust that myth. I believe that as women cultivate a positive relationship with their divine source, they discover the power of their intuitive compass as a way to navigate life.”

 

Alex Florschutz MA, (HPC Reg.) is a professional artist living and working in the South of England. She is renowned for her beautiful evocative paintings, her use of tactile media and her infamous Pink Tent Installation which travels the country inspiring people about the new Feminine. She explores the fundamental aspects of being a Woman: feminine sexuality, cycles, empowered birth, and our intuitive, creative expression. Inspiring women to heal mind, body and spirit from the patriarchal legacy through acquired knowledge, self respect and celebrating our dreams and desires with pleasure! Alex is a registered Art Psychotherapist with a wide range of experience working with adults and children. She enjoys supporting clients find their inner wisdom through creative expression and move through any life issue towards greater clarity. 

Holly Rozier

 "Private challenges emotionally motivate my creative production, with the process of making these beings becoming a means of catharsis.  I channel troubles, anxieties, passions and thoughts I would rather forget in to my work, where it is contained underneath the skins of these creatures.

My work manifests itself as an exploration of the juxtaposition between beauty and the grotesque. It has the ability to intrigue, attract and repel the viewer simultaneously. I contort, inflate and extend the bodily forms into a new breed or hybrid of a being. These surreal anthropomorphic forms could be human, animal, plant or alien; genetically engineered or naturally evolved, alive or dead?

My chosen field of practice is soft sculpture. This highly controlled exercise allows me to create voluptuous, fleshy forms that remain malleable and tactile; whilst the challenge of using soft materials to create substantial forms keeps creation exciting.

The soft and luxurious qualities inherent in the materials I use are contradictory to the coarse and sometimes unpleasant emotions instigating their creation. The visible stitches all over the surface evoke mental scars. Wounds which I have caused and repaired. Everything that is susceptible to transformation is cut and sewn. Contrasting ‘wet’ and ‘dry’ fabrics; Hessian sacking and nylon tights are used to create the appearance of skin. Alongside, rich silky fabrics are used to create intricate and beautiful, yet putrid and wet, sections of innards exposed through the ‘skins’ of the forms.

My most recent work is beginning to focus on the idea that these living organisms are growing in a permanent site, fixing themselves to surfaces with their limb-like extrusions or roots. I aim to create the idea that these equivocal parasitic creatures are invading the space, feeding off the location they have fixed themselves upon. The act of the creatures invading and completely inhabiting the space is representative of the feelings in my head. Sometimes I dislike my work, not due to aesthetic qualities, but because I know what is captured within the piece."

Masoomeh Faraji

Masoomeh Faraji was born in 1982 in Tehran. She graduated from the Tehran Art and Architecture University in Iran. In London, Masoomeh has passionately stretched her design ability to fine art practice and obtained her Foundation Diploma in Art and Design from the University of the Arts London. She is an emerging feminist artist to whom being a woman has always had a profound effect on her life. She is utilising her artistic skills for expressing the challenges of growing up in the patriarchal society. In her art she set out to depict the predicament of women, particularly to the Iranian audience. Her life experience has extended her critical outlook and has made her question and challenge the situation of women in today’s world. In addition to her artistic activities she is currently an MA student in Cultural and Critical Studies developing her knowledge and understanding of current cultural and critical debates.

Cherry Smiley

Sixteen Women, on show at FIL, is an online exhibition by Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) and Diné (Navajo) artist Cherry Smiley that seeks to give women survivors of sexual violence a platform to speak back to the man or men who have attacked them. A photo of a survivor and her words, directed to the man or men who have raped or sexually assaulted her, was released each day of the 16 Days of Action Against Violence Against Women, from November 25 – December 10, 2014.

My name is Cherry Smiley, and I am a Nlaka’pamux (Thompson) and Dine’ (Navajo) woman living, working, and studying on Mohawk territories in Montréal, Quebec. I am a proud First Nations woman, feminist, artist, and activist.

My art practice is one that is deeply passionate and inherently political. I see art as part of a larger strategy for social change; It is a necessary and conscious activist tool, one that is able to communicate ideas and tell stories in ways that are honest, powerful, and engaging. But I also see art as something that is beautiful and deeply embedded in my culture, traditions, and spirituality; it is a conscious and sometimes unconscious expression of who I am as an Aboriginal woman. My work is grounded in my stories and in the stories of my sisters, in feminist theory, and in the teachings handed down to me from my Elders.

As an Indigenous woman, my art, politics, spirituality, and culture are always inter-related - my approach is inherently holisitic. I have the honour of speaking at conferences, forums, and rallies on the issue of violence against Indigenous women and girls and am honoured to do this work locally, nationally, and internationally. I am passionate about educating and engaging communities.

Paulette McKoy

During the late 90’s, I enrolled on a BTEC Arts Foundation where throughout the course, the Fine Art Lecturer at the college became increasingly impressed in my use of colour and my delicate brush strokes and tried to encourage me to continue my studies in Fine Art, however I was determined to pursue a career in the fashion industry and went on to study at University.

I returned to the arts in 2001 and truly appreciate reconnecting with my love and passion for painting, which has led me on to producing works which has been showcased in solo and many group exhibitions in galleries in and around London over the past 10 years.  My work has been featured at the Royal Academy of Dance, celebrating the Faculty of Education’s 10th anniversary and I continue to exhibit my work and am regularly commissioned throughout the UK.

The focus of my practice is to create art that is inspiring and intriguing, that awakens the creativity and beauty inside of us all.  I want to create art work that makes the viewer stop, even if it’s just for a moment to have an emotional experience that will be relived every time they view my art.

The work In this exhibition is part of a collection inspired by a combination of sources, one of them being music.  The sound and rhythm of the genres of music provides an element of stimulation whilst I create art.  Music inspires me to express myself with freedom and energy; it manifest itself into exciting forms on the canvas as symbolisms of rhythm and movement through the use of vibrant colours.

My primary choice is to work with oil paint on large-size canvasesThe scale of the canvas gives me the freedom to express myself.  The use of raw materials and the paint leads me to explore more exciting approaches to my art.  I also like to work on two pieces of art concurrently.  This allows me to transport strong elements and techniques from one piece to the next, creating a conversation within the series of works.

Painting for me is the most verbal medium I have of expressing myself beyond the boundaries of language.  The work and their titles represent my interpretations of a moment that to each, I hope, becomes relatable or intimate to the viewer.

The piece of work I have selected for the Exhibition has been chosen because of the abstract representation of femininity and spirituality linked to the works.

The painting is a celebration of womanhood, curved lines dominates the canvas, symbolism of strength and power which is strongly linked to the event and is a reminder of our accomplishments in society.  My aim is to engage with the audience through the use of vibrant color and light and to inspire and uplift the spirit of the viewer to bring positive and calming energies.

Jacqueline McFarlane

A constant theme in Jacqueline’s work has been the relationship between ourselves and those we draw inspiration, strength and guidance from. More recently, her work has explored the interconnectedness between the familial and the familiar. Other sources of inspiration remain the issues of cultural identity and matriarchy, which, on a personal level, are often closely linked.

In the screen prints, specific parts of the body are illuminated to convey characteristics such as strength, care, nurturing and stability.  They are also associated with sayings and phrases such as “standing on the shoulders of giants”.

 Jacqueline McFarlane is an East London based artist.  She has exhibited in North, East and Central London, in both solo and group shows.  She had been commissioned to illustrate 2 children’s books and facilitated creative activity workshops within the local community for adults and children.

Raised and educated in Hackney, Jacqueline worked for many years in the social care sector.  She finally completed a BA in Fine Art at the University of East London in 2003 where she focused on printmaking, painting and 3-dimentional arts.  She now uses both representational and abstract forms in her work to relay a variety of subjects.

A constant theme in Jacqueline’s work has been the relationship between ourselves and those we draw inspiration, strength and guidance from.  More recently, her work has explored the interconnectedness between the familial and the familiar.

Hazel Anderson and Leah Crossman

Hazel and Leah are two female artists who want to contribute to the current debate about body image and body confidence.

We are supporting women in feeling empowered and confident in their bodies without being connected to a marketing campaign or trying to sell women a product. 

We are creating a transformative event that celebrates and puts the focus on who we are not what we look like.

We are building a collection of beautiful, empowering images of women being confident, happy and feeling free.

Vanessa-Lee Hamlett

The garments on show  are from my final project at UAL – Chelsea.  I graduated this year with a BA honors in Textile Design, specializing in print/CAD. 

The collection was inspired by my dissertation:  Punk D.I.Y: Here are the Girls’ showcasing female resistance expressed through subculture.

The ‘Punk’ movement stands out as a subculture where females played an active and prominent role.  Resistant to gender bias, which was expressed both visually and vocally.

I compare the narrative between the social fabric and the fabric we wear to express ourselves.  Adopting the aesthetics of the ‘Punk’ D.I.Y, by using trash (a term often used to address people that don’t fit into social ‘norms’) to create prints.

I also applied the punk attitude by introducing politically suggestive text that confronts gender roles, exposing them as ‘Toxic’.  My hope is that my collection instigates thought and acts as a source of inspiration and encouragement to its’ wearer, to be part of a movement that strives to recreate gender.

 

Anna Brown


Women's magazines are full of ridiculous things. But the most ridiculous has to be the advertising, which doesn't seem to have moved on since the 1950s. Television commercials have gotten smarter and slicker. Not so the humble magazine ad. It is a mishmash of unabashed manipulation and unfalsifiable false claims.

The works displayed at FIL are part of an ongoing project to deconstruct advertising language and imagery as targeted at women’s insecurities. It encourages the viewer to recognise the absurdity of these phrases and memes through humorous commentary. In doing so, it aims to strip them of their negative power over women’s self-image. 

It also aims to challenge the viewer to think about what is Self and what is Image in the layers of our individuality.

Flora Deborah

Flora Deborah (b. 1984) is a London based artist working predominately with sculpture and photography, often combined with organic materials.

Born in France and raised in Italy, she moved to London in 2008 where she studied photography at London College of Communication (UAL) and started developing her art practice exploring a variety of media.

Deborah researches the overlapping between the psychological and the physical, looking for visceral singular responses.

In her work the emotions and the body are embedded into each others, exploring the multifaceted perception of the self, relationships and feelings.

Sharon Foster

Sharon Foster is an emerging artist and illustrator who resides in Waltham Forest and trades under the name of Alicia Dean Artworks. Her artwork predominantly draws on her cultural heritage however she has also illustrated and published a children’s book and facilitated creative activity workshops.

Sharon has exhibited in East and North London her current exhibition being listed on Whitechapel Gallery First Thursdays. She has also been commissioned for numerous artworks the latest of which, ‘Luminous Leytonstone’, celebrates the 50th anniversary of Waltham Forest. 

Marga Beuth

About my art work

Marga Beuth says: My art is about taking the most feminine body part and using it to represent The Feminine or feminine energy. It is about the essence of The Feminine, the pure power.Just like the heart symbol reinforces the sentiments of the heart, female symbols are a way of appreciating female qualities and setting up a resonance with The Feminine. Marga uses simplified versions of the vulva to inspire the Sepalia Symbols.

Bio

Marga Beuth is a visual artist and speaker on The Feminine and women’s issues.  Sometimes she describes herself as an artistic anthropologist because her work on female symbols is based on the kind of dispassionate observations and questions anthropologists might pursue. For example:

“ What does The Feminine mean to you?”
“Where is the feminine in you?”

Alongside her art she offers observations and statements about the human condition and specifically about feminine energy and it’s place in the world.

She has been working as an artist since 2006 and is based in Brighton, UK.

Lisa Maguire

This is the second year that Lisa is showing her work at the Feminism in London conference.

Laura Dodsworth

I decided to create Bare Reality because I have always been fascinated by the dichotomy between women’s personal lives and how they are depicted in the media; between how we feel about breasts privately and how they are presented for public consumption. Bare Reality is, for me, the inevitable result of being a woman, a feminist and a photographer.

Aside from Bare Reality, which has been two years in the making, I undertake art photography projects (images have been included in group exhibitions) and specialise day to day in photographing people. While these strands of work may seem unconnected, the same themes run through everything I do. My work is always a personal enquiry as much as it is an exploration of people, our loves, our lives and our place in the world. For me, art is a creative, emotional and spiritual journal; it’s my passion and calling.

While the human body and human relationships are important current inspirations, my personal projects are often driven by deeper socio-political as well as spiritual questions.

In everything I do I desire to connect deeply with people, practise integrity, and interptret and present their stories. Life is all about love, and I hope there is love in all my work.

Mary Thompson

The camera can witness, capture and document so much that is amazing about our world and its peoples. A celebration of who we are and what we have achieved.

It can also be a vehicle for adding voice to those issues in the world we need to acknowledge, face up to and put right.

Mary Thompson is a keen amateur photographer and loves documenting women's protest and fight for liberation. The series of images she will show at the Conference reflects the passion and commitment of women from all walks of life to come together to demand the end of male violence against women.

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.'

Maryam Hashemi

I have always been drawing since I can remember and my family have always been supporting me in creating artworks . I studied Graphic Design at Azad University in Tehran ,Iran.
while studying I developed a style which was identifiable by viewers.
I started exhibiting while I was still studying and received great feedbacks and encouragement from everyone which gave me more fuel to continue my art .

After finishing my studies in 2002 I moved to the UK where After a few years I moved towards being an Interdiciplinary artist and expanding my creativity to new corners Such as performance and dance .

I have been actively exhibiting in the UK and internationally and I have been involved with many community art projects and cultural events such as Edinburgh Iranian Festival and Museum At Night ,Big Draw,Canal Festivals and Refuge Arts.

Liv Thurley

My current work explores social situations and the reactions from these. In my work I like to make provocative pieces to act as a catalyst for conversation and thought for the audience, as the viewer's reaction is just as much a part of the work as the object involved. I extract personal experiences and investigate them further along with outside research to create questions about femininity. 

My work for the conference, "Weapon", revolves around a situation where I overheard a conversation between a group of boys on a train discussing pubic hair on girls. Upon hearing one of them exclaim that he would never sleep with a girl who had hair below, I immediately thought of the hair acting as a mechanism, built to scare. This inspired the brutal title of the piece and the harmful use of pins. I felt saddened and disappointed after hearing the boys talk and this inspired to make a statement piece. 

Susan Merrick

Susan has been creating and exhibiting work over the past few years that looks at feminine strength and issues of fertility. Through video, blog, paint and illustration she has explored her own feelings on these matters.

Now entering an MA in fine Art Susan is widening this development of ideas and is starting to consider different processes and methods through which to explore self identity, roles, and views of women in a contemporary and historical perspective. 

Susan is always open to talking to others about collaborations, exhibitions and commissions.