‘Female Body Hair’ Think Piece by Phoebe Winter

Since I was a young girl, I was taught to reject female body hair.

Remove in any way possible in order to fit society’s idea of beautiful. At 18 I said no more. While I still receive discrimination from many, the existence of body hair on my skin has amplified confidence and power within myself and many other women who have chosen to do the same. Earlier centuries saw the existence of female body hair as an attribute of attraction and womanhood, however modern society has enforced it’s removal due to its correlation with masculinity and uncleanliness, both statements drilled into the minds of young men and women through the exposure of unrealistic body expectations. I am not telling women they must grow their body hair as an act of rebellion, I am encouraging equality across genders and proving a hairy woman is a beautiful woman. My artwork at university has developed through the use of my own body hair, both as a topic of discussion and a tool for creation. By using body hair within my practice as a printmaker, I hope to show the beauty of the natural form through the creation of discussion as well as the confrontation of contemporary ideals.

Grow your hair if you want to! Dye it if you want to! Don’t let anyone tell you what you should look like in order to be ‘pretty’.

-By Pheobe Winter. Instagram.

‘Monsters’ Print by Phoebe Winter.

Phoebe Winter

Augusts final feature is from Printmaker Phoebe Winter! Keep reading to find out more about her passions and work!-

Q1:What is your name, age, and where are you based?

A: Phoebe Winter, 20 Years old, Based: Isle of Wight when away from UNI at Brighton.

Q2: How did you first get into your creative practice/ work?

A: Had an interest in art since primary school which developed into a passion during A-levels where I began to think of it as a career choice. I began experimenting with what styles and mediums I could use to express my chosen topics, developing my love for art and its impact on human emotion even more. Moving to university in Brighton has only made my desire to enter the art work more prominent, as both a Female + Feminist artist.

Q3: Are there any main or overarching themes you explore in your work?

A: Feminism as a whole, female objectification and sexualisation, the natural female body and most recently an exploration into the commonplace of sexual assault in modern society. My work has definitely altered the way I see myself, as well as how my artwork and appearance can be used to challenge social ideals of women.

 Q4: Highlight one of your biggest inspirations!

A: Tracy Emin is definitely one of my biggest inspirations. Her use of installation to confront social topics in an uncensored fashion creates an environment in which the audience is forced to question her motives and desires for the piece. Her pieces that have been most influential to me are ‘My Bed’ 1998 and ‘Everyone I have ever slept with’ 1963-1995. More often than not her artworks create discomfort and confusion due to their uncensored and confrontational nature, both feelings which force a person’s mind to think deeper in order to understand, something I have began to experiment with in order to force my audience to question the realities of female objectification and sexual assault. 

‘Everyone I have ever slept with’ By Tracey Emin.

Q5: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

A: I don’t have a definite plan 5 years from now, however as long as I am creating and doing what I enjoy, I will be happy. I would ideally like to get some works in a gallery, and hopefully be living in Brighton full time while creating artwork!

‘Red bodies, black crosses’ by Phoebe Winter
‘Miss Collage’ by Phoebe Winter
‘Pink’ -etching by Phoebe Winter
‘Frilly Suspender’ print by Phoebe Winter

To find more of Pheobe and her artwork you can go to her Instagram!

Keep your eyes PEELED for more work and Pieces for the OP from Phoebe also…

Jess Trainer

This weeks last Artist Feature is from self proclaimed Feminist Artist and amazing MOTHER FUCKING WOMAN Jess Trainer. We have known eahcother for a few years however Jess has recently ventured into commissionable artwork and doing her own creative THING…

Keep reading to find out for more!

Q1: What is your Name, Age, and Where are you based?

A: I’m Jess or @_femininefeminist_ , I’m 25 and based in Sheffield. 

Q2: How did you first get into your creative practice/ work?

A: As I grew up as an only child, I did a lot of drawing and painting as a kid and creative subjects like art, dance and literature were always my favourite at school. Those were the things I enjoyed so I worked hard at them. I then followed them through GCSE/A Level, did my degree in BA Fine Art and ended up teaching and supporting in creative classes for adults and teens with disabilities. I actually used to want to design album covers or work in high fashion but now I’m more interested in using art to improve the lives of others. 

Q3: Are there any main or overarching themes you explore in your work? 

A: If you couldn’t guess by my instagram handle, my work is mostly about women’s issues, particularly identity, how we’re perceived by others and how we’re expected to be. My work is usually very personal and responsive and one topic that I always come back to is the female body and sexuality. like so many other women I’ve dealt with varying degrees of sexual assault, I’ve been on ridiculous diets trying to fit myself into the ideal body, and very recently I suffered a miscarriage. All these things have led to a complicated relationship with myself and I think anyone who identifies as a woman, even if we haven’t shared experiences, will share that relationship with their own body. I find I’m constantly working on forgiving my body, loving my body and looking after her and that’s something that feels very important.

Q4: How has the COVID- 19 Pandemic affected your work?

 A: I moved to Sheffield just before we went into lockdown so I have been out of work for a few months now and having my art practise has been a blessing. I’ve spent lockdown mostly focussing on ways I can move forward with my own art and create a proper business out of it that I feel genuinely excited about. 

Q5: Highlight one of your biggest inspirations!

 A:Tracey Emin! I was always told not to reference Emin at University because she’s too obvious and every young female does. But I find that so important about her, her work is so so personal and raw and you feel like she’s talking to you and telling you her stories of grief and pain and love and sex and I think its something a lot of young women relate to. 

Tracey Emin for Tate Talks

Q6: Where can you see yourself in 5 years’ time?

A: I’ve been accepted onto a MA in Art Therapy which I’m so excited about, it’s something I’ve wanted and have been working towards since I was a teenager so hopefully in 5 years I’ll be helping others use art to process their own trauma and understand their own emotions a little better. 

Q7: If you could share a message with the world, what would it be?

A: ‘You can’t change other’s actions but you can change your reactions.’ It’s something my yoga teacher and long time friend said recently and it really resonated with me and allowed me to be a bit more mindful, relax my shoulders and carry a little less anger and grief around with me.

Work by Jess Trainer
Work by Jess Trainer
Work by Jess Trainer
Work by Jess Trainer

If you would like to follow Jess and support her work you can find her on Instagram + Her ETSY store!