If you love neon, you can’t get away from it’s association with all things sleaze.
I vividly remember the first time I walked down Walker’s Court in London’s Soho, when I was way too young to actually understand what any of the bright flashing signs meant, but I knew they were naughty, and I knew how to read the words “Girls, Girls, Girls…”
As a feminist artists working with neon as my primary material, I’m interested in all of neon’s sex shop history and the inherent associations we have with neon work. The Neon Portraits Project is a nod to the alleyways of Soho as well as being a middle finger up at our culture’s objectification of women.
“Promoting, enjoying and celebrating real women’s bodies”
The Neon Portraits Project aims to take the classic strip bar sign of a naked lady and transform it into a statement about promoting, enjoying and celebrating real women’s bodies.
I am asking for donations of body selfies, in order to create a series of neon portraits, drawn from life and transformed into neon sculptures. Along with the sculptures I will be producing a zine promoting body positivity, created from the responses to a series of questions about how women feel in their bodies.
Our culture worships a singular beauty ideal, and I want to help us all in a small way, to feel represented, to readjust our ideas of what women’s bodies really look like, and to be joyful about the diversity and beauty of our natural bodies.
Reading the responses to the questionnaire that I’ve received so far has been both inspiring and heart breaking, what is very clear is that none of us are alone in sometimes feeling that we’re not enough, feeling that we should look and be different, comparing ourselves to our friends and people we see online, feeling unrepresented by the mainstream media, and perhaps worst of all feeling alone in feeling all of these things.
“I want to help us all to be joyful about the diversity and beauty of our natural bodies”
The culture of body shaming and impossible standards that we live in isolates us from each other and this project is about trying to open up a dialogue about the damaging affects of the singular beauty ideal, whilst also sharing advice and stories from women who are learning to love and celebrate their bodies.
If you would like to be involved with the project, either by submitting a selfie, or answering some questions, please go to http://romilyalice.com/neon-portraits
Here are some of my favourite feminist, body positive and bad ass things to watch, read, look at and listen to when I need a lift: