Creating art can be incredibly beneficial to one’s mental health and an effective way of exploring your emotions. And don’t worry if you’re not the creative type – even looking at art can improve your well-being. So if you’re sick of bad memes and Kardashian pics clogging up your Instagram, then why not fill your feed with these seven delightful and bad-arse feminist artists:
Aretha Brown is a rightfully unapologetic, outspoken 17 year old Indigenous woman based in Melbourne. Equal parts artist and activist, Aretha is bloody brilliant. Her artworks include bold, bright earthy colours and shapes, along with larger paintings consisting of wildly detailed and creative displays. Talented in all sense of the word, Aretha refuses to be boxed in and her art depicts this in such wonderful ways.
Based in Newtown, Sydney, the drawings Hayley O’Mara refers to as ‘scribbles from my palm’ are full of sweet and powerful messages about self acceptance, tackling toxic masculinity, mental health and all things in between. She says, “I originally just was shy about my scribbles and used it as a place to anonymously get my feelings about this world across. But all my scribbles are about really lovin who you are.” We’re verrry obsessed with this message and her drawings in general and how she attempts to express herself so truthfully. No easy feat. She also sells ethical totes ; )
We love Frances and everything she represents. A queer artist who grew up in Thailand and is now based in Melbourne, Frances is heart wrenchingly honest about her experiences with the ups and downs of mental health, body positivity, LGBTQIA rights, feministy things and trying to love yourself despite your imperfections. It is those ‘imperfections’ that make you who you are. She displays these ponderings in short poems and sweet drawings of her signature round, goddess like figures, often adorned with fabulous flowers and brilliant body hair. They’ll make you feel gooey inside.
Charlotte Allingham is a 25 year old Wiradjuri woman from Melbourne. She is a creator of all things art-related and a self appointed Occultist, (a believer in paranormal activity). Her artwork, illustrations, zines and comics deal with issues around Indigenous land rights, identity and resistance, among other things. Her latest exhibition was titled ‘It’s called, Survival’. She’s honest and daring and her works are undeniably magical.
Based in Melbourne, artist Montana Kitching creates aesthetically beautiful images that are incredibly relatable to anyone suffering from mental health issues or generally having a bad time, which unfortunately happens to a lot of us. She demonstrates that it should be spoken about rather than ignored. She includes mundane activities in her drawings like uber eats or teeth brushing, along with much heavier themes. Take some time to explore, Montana will take you on a journey.
Gemma is a queer tattoo artist based in Melbourne who dedicates their time to creating cute and colourful art on people’s bodies. Their tattoos are often abstract and playful depictions of animals, smiling flowers, lots of cats, the occasional tub of hummus and basically all things cute. If you’re not old enough to get a tattoo (or don’t want one), Gemma also does very cool drawings, makeup tutorials, and zines that will brighten your day (if her dog tattoos haven’t already).
Based in Melbourne, Lori’s work is bright and playful and just generally makes you feel good! From smiling fried eggs and colourful banksias, to adorable dogos and relaxed women, Lori has got you covered. She’s got some prints up for grabs on her online store for pretty decent prices. In the meantime, keep your ears to the ground for any upcoming exhibitions!
Alice is a volunteer at the Victorian Women’s Trust and a student at the University of Melbourne where she is studying a Master of Global Media Communication. Alice is passionate about gender equality and believes it cannot not be achieved until the struggles of all kinds of women are heard. She is also passionate about pizza and her dog Scout (if you’re asking).