Wednesday 26 October 2022

Feminism & Photography Initial Research: Jemima Stehli

 I am looking at the work of Jemima Stehli as my initial research for my photographic project.  I chose to start with Stehi as; 'she places herself as either subject or object of the image and often as both. In so doing she explores the relationship between sculpture, photography and performance and underlies the tensions that exist between these mediums.' (Jemima Stehli: Galeria Miguel Nabinho (n.d) 

From the 1980s Stehli intended to make photographic work that provoked and the Strip series (above) created much controversy, Schwabsky writes; 'I had already heard several people say that they had no intention of seeing it. What was it that had gotten on their nerves? Apparently, they were revulsed by “Strip,” 1999/2000, an earlier group of photographs, which Stehli had made in collaboration with a number of male critics.' (Schwabsky, 2001)  The idea here of turning the male gaze on its head and confronting this in a rather uncomfortable head-on situation (Stehli stripping, the critic watching).  Stehli does this in several works where she has remade great artworks so that the feminist perspective is shown.  In After Helmut Newton's "Here They Come" (1999) Stehli recreates Newton's statuesque model using her own body and in a postmodern version (a little like Jeff Wall's 'Picture for Women' (1979)) the remote cable can be seen and Stehli stares directly into the lens looking directly at the viewer/voyeur of this image.

These recreations all have a performative aspect which appeals to me as I enjoy creating performative photographic images and although I am not intending to recreate as Stehli does here, I need to find a way to express the issues for feminists today.  We appear to be entering the fifth wave of feminism and yet it seems even more fractured than at any other time, and no one yet can agree on what this is or how it should look.  What is clear though is that women are still battling with everyday sexism, misogyny, lack of equality, and many other serious issues surrounding women's rights and their own bodies, the rape crisis in the UK with a percentage of convictions so low (1%) that the message seems to be that you can get away with rape.  Domestic violence, abuse, and so many other issues that affect women seem to still be living large.  

Stehli, in her images, confronts the men staring defiantly out or almost shouting that she exists as a person, not an object/objectified being.  Schwabsky asks; 'What draws such a rancorous reaction is that Stehli undermines the basis of her own critique by displaying the female body as a glamorous object. Is this naïveté or a calculated ploy to have it both ways? ' (Schwabsky, 2001).  This is often a question asked of women artists who use their own bodies in their work, here I would argue that clearly, a woman's body is a powerful symbol that has been objectified and women taking back control of how their bodies are used with art is a powerful statement.  


Hohl, K. (2022) New scorecards show under 1% of reported rapes lead to conviction – criminologist explains why England's justice system continues to fail, City, University of London. City, University of London. Available at: (Accessed: October 26, 2022). 

Jeff Wall Photography, bio, ideas (no date) The Art Story. Available at: (Accessed: October 26, 2022). 

Jemima Stehli: Galeria Miguel Nabinho (no date) Galeria. Available at: (Accessed: October 26, 2022). 

Schwabsky, B. (2001) Barry Schwabsky on Jemima Stehli, The online edition of Artforum International Magazine. Artforum. Available at: (Accessed: October 26, 2022). 

Project Plan: Feminism/Photography

 Please find my project plan here.  I will complete the tasks each week and I will explain them in more detail in the project posts.

Tuesday 25 October 2022

Project Sign Off: Feminism & Photography

 I have now completed my project sign-off for my negotiated project.  Below is one of the artist's works I will be discussing through my research; Jemima Stehli, Table 2.  This work references the work of Allen Jones which can be seen below.  Through this work I will look at the second to the fourth waves of feminism and discuss. 

My own work has an element of performance and through analysing these works I hope to explore ideas of performance and photography in relation to a woman's body.

Table 2 (1997-98) Jemima Stehli

Please find my project sign-off: Feminism, Performance & Photography here.

Friday 21 October 2022

SMART Objective: Feminism/Photography


SMART Objective: Major Project Feminism & Photography

In my photographic project this term I will be creating an Image and Text book, this will be both digital and hard copy and will be created on Blurb.  The concept of the book will be a feminist 'performance piece' that has been photographed to create a narrative, that celebrates women and art using boundaries and instructions.  The images will be taken on my Olympus DSLR OMD MkII and I may also use polaroids. My target market for this work will be Generation X as I believe it will appeal to my own generation and will reference forms of feminism and photography that they will be aware of.  I will complete this and upload to a gallery on my website by the beginning of December.

Thursday 20 October 2022

Milanote Research Ideas for Feminism & Photography Project

 I have created a Milanote board to explain my ideas and my ideas for the research I will carry out for my proposed feminism and Photography project.  By doing this I realised I was more interested in the idea of performance and using the text/image book like the artists; Schneemna, Ono, and Stehli to put forward a feminist perspective through the work I will produce.

Please also find the link to my Milanote Board here.

Ideas Generation for Major Project: Feminism/Photography

 Continuing on my theme of Feminism for the term I would like to do work about Feminism through photography.

This could take various forms - I could work with my own body as a woman, or I could work through objects and stories like Sophie Calle and her work Striptease where Calle worked as a Striptease artist and turned this into her artwork.  'Calle's oeuvre has flirted with these opposites: control and freedom, choice and compulsion, intimacy and distance.'(Jeffries, 2009)  I like the idea of a small book and a narrative and like Calle and Yoko Ono following a set of instructions or using boundaries to create images.

Here are examples of Yoko Ono's instruction paintings 

I would like to consider instructions for photographs further and perhaps use existing ideas or stories that would work for my instructions for photographs.  I do also enjoy photographic instruction manuals and This is also something I might like to play with as an idea for creating a photographic instruction manual.

This could be really good for the feminism and photography theme and this is definitely an idea to be explored further through research.  I have many Photography books and manuals as I collect these so the source material here would be original and very useful. 

I will consider all these ideas and I will add more when I feel I have decided on the idea I would like to pursue.


Jeffries, S. (2009) Sophie Calle: Stalker, stripper, sleeper, spy, The Guardian. Guardian News and Media. Available at: (Accessed: October 20, 2022). 

Sunday 16 October 2022

Feminism Campaigns Advert Research

While creating my own advert I looked at other feminist campaigns and consider how they worked, how successful the message was and who the target market was.  I began by looking at Emma Watson's Un Speech as what I wanted to convey was very much in line with the ideas that Watson is talking about in her speech.

Here Watson talks about the importance of men and boys being involved in change, she discusses the word 'feminism' and how unpopular this is and how women have turned away from this stating; 'my recent research has shown me that feminism has become an unpopular word. Women are choosing not to identify as feminists. Apparently, I’m among the ranks of women whose expressions are seen as too strong, too aggressive, isolating, and anti-men. Unattractive, even.' ( Cole L.N. 2020)  This speech really does have the basis of good Feminism that if these values were embraced by both sexes perhaps real change could begin.  

HeforShe is still going strong and their website has resources and action kits and ideas so that YOU can get involved and promote change. HeforShe website.  The target audience is all men and all women, so we can really work together for gender equality.

Another campaign - 'This is what a Feminist Looks like' was high profile and the Fawcett Society & Elle the fashion Magazine promoted this campaign.  'The Fawcett Society's story begins with Millicent Fawcett, a suffragist and women's rights campaigner who made it her lifetime’s work to secure women the right to vote.' (FawcettSociety 2022)  now it still continues and promotes women's rights across the globe.  The campaign that we are discussing here - 'This is what a feminist looks like' (2014) started well with many male celebrities and politicians wearing T-shirts to promote feminism. Conscious Magazine stated;  “This is What A Feminist Looks Like” shirts that you might have seen on the chests of some of the most in-demand men in Hollywood to raise awareness for this movement (in the guise of consumerism, of course, but we can save capitalist holidays/agendas for another time). In theory, the idea of getting influential men to spread the word about, and trying to normalize, feminism, sounds like a decent way to attract more men to join the cause'(Katebi, 2014) and it really did and it is a pity that teh fashion idustry acyauly brought thsi campaign with a bang as it was disciveered that teh T-shirts were being made by women in sweatshops in Mauritius for pennies an hour causing the men to withdraw from the campaign, all the profits from the T-shirts were going to promote women's rights and women's charities. 

I have looked at these two campaigns as they were of the same mindset as my own, engage men and change could happen.  Education, conversation and understanding will get us further and we should be trying to do this everyday and speak up when we see a woman being treated in a way that is not equal or fair.

We do need to keep going, we are now entering the 5th wave of feminism, what will it bring?  What will we contribute to change?


HeforShe (2022) HeForShe. Available at: (Accessed: October 16, 2022).

Nicki Lisa Cole, P.D. (2020) Full transcript of Emma Watson's 2014 speech on Gender Equality, ThoughtCo. ThoughtCo. Available at: (Accessed: October 16, 2022).

FawcettSociety (2022) The Fawcett Society. Available at: (Accessed: October 16, 2022). 

Reporter, S. (2014) Nick Clegg: 'I wouldn't have worn pro-feminism T-shirt if I knew, Evening Standard. Available at: (Accessed: October 16, 2022). 

Katebi, H. (2014) This is what a feminist looks like. The Feminist Shirt Controversy, Conscious Magazine. Available at: (Accessed: October 16, 2022). 

Final Advert: Stand Together For Feminism

 The final advert is here!


The advert here works quite well, I think the image is strong and the tagline works.  The logo is more in keeping with the message I was trying to convey.  The additional words could have been bolder and easier to read and here I think is the weakness of this advert.  Also my son, who is Gen Z, stated that the advert was 'cringy and awful'  this made me consider that the target audience for this advert would not be men of Gen Z, it perhaps is too feminine, it does not appeal to a younger audience and perhaps the target market for this would be millenials or Gen X.  The idea here was to appeal to men and women and still I am not sure that it would do that...more work is definitely needed!

Final Advert: Design Process

 After practising in class on Pixlr, I wanted to create my final advert using Photoshop.  I liked the design and the image however I wanted to improve on this and create a new logo.

I began by creating a new canvas on Photoshop, File, New and then in the dialog box I went to Print and A4.

I then opened the image I used originally in Photoshop, clicked on Select and select all in the top menu and then edit, copy and then went to my new canvas and clicked on edit, paste.  The image was now on my canvas.  I aligned this using Photoshop guidelines to ensure the image was centred correctly.

I then added Text by clicking on the 'T' in the tools menu on the left-hand side of my workspace.  I added the words and then used the move tool in the tools menu to place it where I wanted it in the image.  I then changed the font which was Lucida Bright, Demi Bold ay 48pts and adjusted the colour to the shade of brown/orange to match the image.

I then created a new logo I wanted to create something that represented the message much better than the original so I went with 'Humans for Change' as the idea was for men and women to unite and work together to create a better world for all.  I created this on Tailor Brands again as this was a time constrained piece of work.

I then added the logo by exporting it as a png and uploading to Photoshop, I adjusted the size using the transform tools and I also lowered the opacity so that it stood out but did not just have a white background and that it integrated with the image.

Before I finished the advert I actaully wanted to make a T-Shirt with just the image, logo and tagline so I saved the image as a jpeg and then used T-Shirt transfer paper in my printed, on print setting I set this up and so it printed this in reverse to that it could then be ironed onto the T-shirt after printing and appear the correct way round.  I asked my son to take a polaroid of me wearing the T-Shirt!

The idea here was to show the potential of the campaign and that this could be added to T-shirts that would be easily recognisiable.

Finally I added the rest of the wording to the actual advert so that those who were interested could get involved and join Humans for Change!  I will add the final advert on the next post.

Thursday 13 October 2022

Creating an Advert: Pixlr Practice

 Today I will be practicing creating my advert using the online Pixlr software.  I will put my practice process here and then I can explore ideas and explain technically how I am doing this. 

I began by opening Pixlr and using Pixlr E

I clicked into File, new and then clicked onto 'Print' i the top menu and then I chose A4 to follow my brief.  I then added a title and chose a white background.  I think clicked on 'create' and this opened up my workspace on Pixlr with my white canvas

I then clicked on 'Page' in the top menu and then 'rotate'

I then opened my image in Pixlr which I upload from my desktop and then I selected the image using Select in the top menu and then I clicked on edit in the top menu and then copy.  I then clicked on my canvas and then I clicked on edit in the top menu and the paste

I clicked on the left hand side tool bar and clicked on the 'T' which is the text tool to add words to my image. I clicked onto the image and Pixlr asked if I wanted to make a text layer and I stated apply.  I then typed in my text and selected and used the top menu to choose the font which was Adolfini and the color and size of my text.

I created a logo on Tailor Brands online.   I chose my company name which was Charity and the logo maker created several options, I chose the one above and then customised to the correct the colours to match my advert.

I then saved my logo as a png to the desktop and then clicked on File , open image and chose my logo file.  This opened in my Pixlr workspace and I then clicked on Select in the top menyu and then edit copy in the top menu and clicked back to my practice advert and clicked on edit again and paste. I used my move tool to put the logo in place.  

I then exported my image as a png to my desktop just by clicking on File, export. 

I can now upload the final image here and my practice in complete.  this is my final image.

I really like this image and think it worked well for my message.  I liked the colour with the shades of brown which worked well n the logo and text.  However I think the font is too thin and needed to be bolder and I need to look further at fonts and typography.

Reference for Image

apratama, V. (2022) Man and Woman by a Body of water. [online] Pexels. Available at: [Accessed 13 October 2022].

Creating an Advert: Ideas Generation

 As my theme for the term is feminism I would like to make an advert for feminism.  I first need to study what others have done and so I will look at some adverts to start with. 

This advert by Dior works well as a fashion promotional video but also using the feminist cause.

The above has been used in various feminist campaigns but actually 'The "We Can Do It!" image, also known as Rosie the Riveter, has since gone on to be one of the most widely used feminist icons in the world. But in 1943, it was simply meant to help female employees feel motivated. The artist, J. Howard Miller, would probably be seriously startled to see its status in the modern world.' (Thorpe, 2015) It is unsurprising that this became a iconic image with the woman in bright colours and in a simple image the tagline is simple and memorable with a clear power. 

This post above shows how often there is a backlash towards feminism and feminist causes therefore in my own idea I want to create a campaign that would be about standing together with men to create a more equal and safer world with an emphasis on education and communication.

 I think the image would be man and woman side by side and a tagline of something like: 'Stand Together for Feminism'  and then promoting education and communication in some way perhaps through school/work talks, workshops and promotional events 


Thorpe, J.(2015) The 9 Most Feminist Ad Campaigns Of All Time. [online] Bustle. Available at: [Accessed 12 October 2022].

Wednesday 12 October 2022

Individual Research: Francesca Woodman

When I was creating my own sequential images I was reminded of Francesca Woodman (1958-1981), a young photographer, now a martyr to photography as she took her own life.  Woodman created many self-portraits which are poignant and haunting exploring issues of womanhood and place.  

Many of her images are in abandoned or wrecked buildings and the textures of the dilapidation contrast to Woodman's own body and perhaps express her sense of herself as she explores photography, technique and composition. 'Corey Keller describes in her accompanying essay, her work “approached female selfhood and sexuality from a deeply personal – rather than political or programmatic – point of view.”' (Wrigley, 2011).  Woodman did create sequential images, and these were staged narratives that did explore feminity in the environment often in her images faces are not seen just disappearing or blurred bodies mingled into the surroundings. 'The privacy, light, space, and peeling walls of the pasta factory also allowed her to experiment further with her confrontational nudes, the hazy figures blending into furniture, her disappearing forms, elements that have since become synonymous with Woodman’s style, and in some cases interpreted as dark omens foreshadowing her tragic end' (Wrigley, 2011) Why I was reminded of her work was the image below where he is dressed in multiple suspender belts. Solomon Godeau writes about Woodman from a feminist standpoint and 'she points out that Woodman’s seemingly traditional nudes (with reference to art history) often include a detail that disrupts the composition and forces us to consider them more deeply. One example is Untitled (1979–80). A naked woman is lying across a Victorian sofa. On closer inspection, we see that she is wearing several garter belts. The extra stockings adorn the wall behind the sofa, inviting various interpretations.'  (Tellgren, 2015)

I like to think of this image as the multiple selves or sides to woman, every day playing the part of woman.  As the 'other' in society, we are in the eyes of others still an object which many ideas of what we are being placed on.  The use of traditional and sculptural lend these images weight and as Solomon-Godeau points out there is a disruption in the image that makes the viewer think.  There should be disruption in photographs, now more than ever, as we are bombarded by images we need something to make us stop and actually look at an image to consider deeply everything in the frame.  Here the stockings hanging in the background almost give a sense of history or of previous lives, the multiplicity of the belts could be interpreted as restraints as much of women's clothing is made to be restraining. The picture itself is almost restrained the woman is not looking directly at us, we are not being challenged directly however it does challenge indirectly and subtly and plays upon your mind upon turning away and perhaps this is why thsi photograph is the one I returned to..


Tellgren, A. (2015) Francesca Woodman: On Being an Angel. [online] Available at: [Accessed 12 October 2022].

Wrigley, T. (2011) Francesca Woodman. [online] AnOther. Available at: [Accessed 12 October 2022].

Sunday 9 October 2022

Sequential Feminism: Final Work

 Here is the final sequence...


I think these images work well as a sequence however I do think if I did it again I would get closer so the words were even clearer. When these are large on screen I think the message is clear but here they do look a little small.  I do like the legs and that the upper half can not be seen as I think the anonimity lends to the message that this is all women.

Sequential Images: Individual Work - Feminism

 This week in class we discussed and created sequential images, for our own individual project we planned an idea in class to carry out for self-study.  The images I planned in class I sketched out see below.

The idea was to show feminist issues through the sequence by adding an issue for each image.  When I was planning this sequence I was considering the fourth wave of feminism and how successful that had been. Britannica states that the fourth wave of feminism began in 2012, 'with a focus on sexual harassment, body shaming, and rape culture, among other issues. A key component was the use of social media to highlight and address these concerns. The new wave arose amid a number of high-profile incidents. In December 2012 a young woman was brutally gang-raped in India and subsequently died, sparking local protests and international interest' (feminism - The fourth wave of feminism, 2022)  Ten years later and still social media acts as both friend and foe to women as there is a still much work to do on all these issues but as with the first three waves of feminism we still have not managed to secure equal rights globally. To read about the waves of feminism please click here.

Going back to the images, I set up my Olympus OM-D E-M10II, I set it up on a tripod and started with settings of ISO 250, F8.  I used a remote trigger to be able to complete the images whilst in position as I was the subject.  I took around 280 images so I ended up with 10 contact sheets so I won't post all these here!  

Here are a few just so you can see the setup and process.

I kept the pose and set up the same however in the first shots the words could not be read easily so I changed where the words were placed on the legs.

ISO 250, F7.1, Shutter Speed 1/13

This shot gives the idea of what I was trying to achieve in the images.  In my next post I will show the final sequence.


Encyclopedia Britannica (2022) feminism - The fourth wave of feminism. [online] Available at: [Accessed 9 October 2022].

Sunday 2 October 2022

Welcome to Autumn Term 2022

 Welcome to the new academic year!  Here we are again back at the beginning. I will begin this term by looking at Hannah Hoch.  I always find her work makes me feel a little sad but here we begin with this work Ohne Titel (without title) 

I am starting with this as it exemplifies to me the fractured nature of woman, an ideal put together in the head of a man.  Höch (German, 1889–1978) was part of the Berlin Dada group in the 1920s and worked on mixed media images that reflected and satirised popular culture and ideals.  However, she mostly worked on gender issues.  Hoch stated that; “Most of our male colleagues continued for a long while to look upon us as charming and gifted amateurs, denying us implicitly any real professional status.” (Hirschl Orley, H, 2022)  Hoch's photomontages explored women's role in society and Hoch dedicated herself to promoting women through art. The Art Story states; '[Hoch was] A political iconoclast, she actively critiqued prevailing society in her work, and, implicitly, through many of her life choices. Her active interest in challenging the status of women in the social world of her times motivated a long series of works that promoted the idea of the "New Woman" in the era.' (Hannah Höch Photomontages, Bio, Ideas, 2022)

In the above image, the man is represented as a respectable but aloof generic male figure while the woman has been made almost grotesquely out of proportion with a hue infant head.  This representation of marriage and perhaps the idea that marriage infantilises or reduces women's role in society as a whole, once married a woman then (at this time) has to be a perfect wife and mother.  She is no longer allowed or expected to have a job or an important role creatively or at work. 

Hoch was a pioneer in her field of Photomontage/mixed media imagery and was one of very few women to be working creatively in the Dada movement.  Hoch continued to make work but could not exhibit during the Nazi regime and moved outside of Berlin, after the war she conituned to work and in 1976 there was a retrospective of her work.  Hoch had a message and she (a little like Heartfield) was trying to warn women of the dangers of being a woman.  At this time Hoch warned bout how women were portrayed in the media.  She warned women of the dangers of advertising through her work and how this affected women.  

These issues sadly still exist today for women and women themselves often do not or cannot stand up against the wrongs that are done to them in society.  I started this post by stating that Hoch's work makes me sad, as you can see her work has sadness.  Women if you can, do stand up!


Hirschl Orley, H. (2022) Hannah Hoch. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 October 2022].

The Art Story (2022) Hannah Höch Photomontages, Bio, Ideas. [online] Available at: [Accessed 2 October 2022].

Gallagher, P. (2022) The Mama & the Dadas: The pioneering feminist artwork of Hannah Höch. [online] DangerousMinds. Available at: [Accessed 2 October 2022].