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Arts & Culture / Lizzie Coop

Meet The Artists Putting Female Power Firmly In The Spotlight

Refinery29 and NARS Cosmetics want to expand upon the dialogue that is currently whirling around about the female form – and they are using their collaborative London-based exhibition, Power Mouth, to do so.

Hosted in London’s Protein Studios, for one weekend only, Power Mouth brought together the photo and video work of female-only artists – including Daantje Bons, Romily Alice, and Natalia Stuyk – in a bid to celebrate women as both creators and creative subjects. The aim, the show spec says, is to encourage inclusivity amongst women: ‘We aim to create a world in which women feel, see and claim their power,’ says Refinery29 – a mission statement they reiterate daily (and defiantly) through their Instagram bio.

Kicking off last week, with a performance and installation by visual artist Vanessa Kisuule, the exhibition was a deliberately short-lived one. Stretching over just two days, and consciously featuring no permanent artworks – Power Mouth used creativity to gather people together and to spark consequential discussions. Like the physical installations, these conversations were all made immediately available online – you can follow #PowerMouth now for immediate access and thank Instagram later for always doing such a good job at keeping #FOMO at bay.

Below, we drill deeper into the women who inspired Power Mouth, and spotlight three of the featured artists who are using their artwork and follower count for good.

Daantje Bons @daantejebons

Any Instagram profile that starts with “I want to show you something”, and is then followed by three images all aiming to debunk period myths, is a good place to start in our books. At sixteen-years-old – whilst tackling high school – Bons began to develop her photography portfolio. Now, she’s become an important voice for women’s rights, as well as one of the featured artists for Refinery29’s Power Mouth exhibition. Rejecting the restrictive beauty standards that social media – actually, the world – impose on young women, Bons has photographed period-stained panties, pubic hair and puss with pride. Make her account your first scroll stop every morning.

Romily Alice @romilyalice

#wip

A post shared by Romily Alice Walden (@romilyalice) on

“I focus on contemporary feminism and its relation to the post-internet age,” explains London-based artist Romily Alice, when we asked her to talk about her fascination with neon-lighting techniques. “My work questions modern society’s relationship with the body, how we look at our own and that of others,’ she continues. Since graduating from Leeds College of Art, Alice has been creating a name for herself, all thanks to her talent for turning neon-lighting panels into towering sculptures that stick two fingers up at body-based clichés.

Natalia Stuyk @nataliastuyk

remixed a shoot by @eddienew_photography for my fave @pitch_studios 🌷🌷🌷

A post shared by N S (@nataliastuyk) on

If you are not one of Natalia Stuyk’s 31k followers, you need to jump on the bandwagon, and pronto. The visual artist creates psychedelic short videos, that have helped to define the overarching esthetic of exhibitions across the country – Power Mouth included. Stuyk’s videos offer up a multi-sensory, immersive context that speaks of colour, self-expression and female power through digital art.

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