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Convergences. Artists from different areas, with different world views and experiences, come together to transform their perceptions and quandaries about gender into an art form.

We talked to Swanzy, Daisy Madden-Wells, Stephanie Turner, Paolina Russo and Lucy Emma Price. Some of the Influencers that together brought to Melissa an exposition to inspire all women.  

The exposition The London Creatives in the Galeria UK has already finished, but these girls show that feminine empowerment lives on in their most diverse forms of expression.

1. What is the message that you want to send through your work?

Swanzy: A message of self care, self love and self acceptance. A message of rejecting the boxes society tries to confine us in. A message of solidarity and community. 

Stephanie: It's time to transition to a sustainable human culture and more Love. 

Daisy: That there can be gravitas in the throwaway or ephemeral. That you can venerate your procrastinations. 

Paolina: Most of the time, I don't try to get a particular message across in my work. I work similarly to how I did when I was child, creating without boundaries or overthinking what the outcome might be.  

Lucy: The work references moments, interactions in life and my position in the world, the situations I encounter and through this my body has become a vessel weaving amongst other. It allows the spectator to project their own personal thoughts and experiences onto the body of work.

2. Melissa is inspired by this chaotic mix of behaviours and reflections of today's world to create its collections. How much do everyday references influence your art?

Daisy: My work is very much the product of everyday references. Growing up and living in London, I have always been surrounded and fascinated by monuments and insignias, the ancient aesthetic of them more embedded in my conscious than the events or meanings they represent. Coupled with the instantaneous culture we live in today, I see my work as a cross over between the two.

Stephanie: Yeah, I reference everyday things too. You can see some of that in this collection: "Two Bees Or Not Two Bees?" a reference to Shakespeare, "A bug and a bee sitting in a tree B-U-Z-Z-I-N-G" a reference to an everyday nursery rhyme from childhood. I like when people recognise the references and have that aha! moment.

Paolina: I am very influenced by my most immediate surroundings. I'm always observing, looking for colour and patterns, objects that might inspire me, materials that I might take and directly use in my work. 

Lucy: My work is about my bodily presence, weaving amongst others. My body and my work continuously change and shape shift with the incredible and chaotic behaviours of the world.

Swanzy: I am very much inspired by the day to day. Especially the micro-aggressions that go unnoticed but keep womxn oppressed - via patriarchal, racist systems and ideologias.

3. How does your art empower women? 

Swanzy: It encourages them to question the boundaries society has set for us. To question things we have accepted and to be gentle with ourselves, to discover who we are and to be true to that. 

Daisy: By subverting traditional, so typically male, formats. 

Lucy: As female artists we are subjecting ourselves into the reality of the male gaze, utilising our ‘to-be-looked-at-ness’ whilst hijacking male authority. We are playing with sex not for the spectator’s pleasure but for our own, to induce a reaction and conversation. 

Paolina: I think that expressions of femininity are diverse and equally valid and important. So having the chance to show a piece of myself is an encouragement for other women to embrace and feel empowered in their version of femininity. 

4. “Empowerment is “to give space to the other person, especially when the other has a different experience than your own”. By joining several women from different areas, we can all empower whoever comes to see it. For you, what is the importance of this kind of initiative?

Daisy: It is important as we can all learn from each other’s work and experiences. However similar or different they are from our own.

Swanzy: So important. I do the same through ROADFEMME. Providing a platform for people (especially womxn) to raise their voices and claim their space. 

Stephanie: Absolutely, it's so important to create spaces and to bring people from different backgrounds together. That's part of the beauty of the arts. Where else do you find people from such different backgrounds actually interacting and sharing a part of their inner lives? It's how we grow and learn. 

Paolina: I think it is important to celebrate women who thrive in such diverse areas of the creative industry. There are so many of us. As we continue to encourage and celebrate other women who succeed we gain visibility and power. 

Lucy: Its an incredible opportunity to be in an exhibition with artists who use various mediums. The work bounces off one another to create a conversation to inspire and to hopefully provoke thought on the topic we are discussing through our work.

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