Friday, 8 March 2013

International Women's Day!

Happy International Women's Day to all you awesome females around the world! 

I think it's great to have a day like this (and just after World book day too - what an great week!) as it's not only fantastic to celebrate being a woman and to rejoice in all the progress we have made over the years, but it's also a great way to support and raise awareness of the women who do not yet have to safety, security and privileges that others do. By 'privileges' I actually mean, an entitlement to education, freedom of speech, and generally not being subjected, discriminated and abused. Hmm, Privileges. 

I'm often asked "why are you a feminist when you live in Britain, surely there's no need?" or "feminism is dead, why do you bother?". It is because of these comments that I AM a feminist. We have driven forward massively in the UK in terms of female rights, we can thank the suffragettes for that. I'm lucky that I am in control of my body, I've had great opportunities to study and work, and my dreams are not shattered just because I am a girl. Hurrah! I have however, been subjected to sexual harassment, undermined by men, and witness men objectifying women on a daily basis. These are minor issues compared to the suffering of other women in the world, but it does show that the UK is not as progressed as some people might imagine. 

The main focus for me though is to try in any way to support other women around the world. It doesn't take much searching to realise how differently women are treated in other parts of the world. India for one has been on our news feed's recently, but the hideous violence continues to be rife there. The Middle East and Africa with their high statistics of domestic violence, genital mutilation and attacks are also evidence of horrific actions towards women.

The quote above by Lorde is the best explanation of how I feel. Because I am privileged and have been able to get an education, I am able to stand up for other women who haven't been able to have the same. Maybe just writing a little blog, or getting riled up on social media is not enough, but it's better than nothing. I hope one day that I, along with other awesome women, can make a real difference, like UN Women do throughout the year to support and help change the worlds perception on women.

Today I am proud to be a feminist. And I hope that all the women out there today walk with their head held high knowing how absolutely amazing she is. 

Happy International Women's Day everyone! 


Image 1 - A girl's guide to taking over the world. 
Image 2 - Rabid Feminist

Some recommended facebook pages/Websites:

Rabid Feminist (img 2)

Thursday, 7 March 2013


Sarah Maple

This week I want to show you something from Sarah Maple. She's an amazing young artist working with painting and photography and even some guerilla style political stuffs. She's so cool.

For my dissertation, I was looking into controversy within art, and especially within the Middle East and Muslim women. Maple, being a Muslim herself, but living in Britain gives her the freedom to make interesting, uncensored work. And boy does she make the most of it. She's ruffled a few feathers in her time but it is all with good intention.

I for one think controversy is of major importance, especially in art. Life would be so boring if no one ever tested political, social boundaries. And Sarah is especially interesting to me, as she's a feminist, and a Muslim, two things we don't often associate together. She was even kind enough to do an online interview with me for my work, so extra cool points to her!

Self Portrait with my Mother's Headscarf and the breast...

This was one of the images I used to illustrate Maples work in my dissertation. It was hard to chose from the huge collection Maple has created for herself, but something drew me to this painting (ye ye not the boob!) but it's a really striking image to have the association of the Islamic headscarf and nudity in one image. Anyway, I highly recommend as always to check out her other work, she really does have a mixture of different media, styles etc so there plenty to look at!


Image © Sarah Maple

Monday, 4 March 2013

99% Nothing Taster

Dip your tongue into this. Or don't actually, you don't want your screen all wet and smudgy. 

Anyway, I thought it was about time you all got a little teaser of my latest project. I've been working on it for a couple of months now, and have an exhibition in London in the summer to show it all off - I'm sure I'll update you about that nearer the time. 

So, here it is, 99% Nothing.

That's all I'm giving you folks, I wouldn't want to ruin the surprise. 


Image copyright Ffion Matthews