Words by Alison Fletcher
If there is any corner of the internet that artists belong to, we all know that it is Instagram: platform for the creatives and enabler of communication between artists all over the world. Love it or hate it, if you want to get noticed, it is imperative that you nurture your followers. These five female artists are gaining and/or retaining online attention at a crazy rate, and there’s a strong reason why. In the new age of third-wave feminism we are seeing representations of female struggles; whether they fill you with laughter, tears or empowerment, the voice of women is being heard and the audience of Instagram are certainly listening. Here is a list of the most talked-about women on the art scene:
Gemma Correll is an English illustrator, known mainly for her cartoons. Using markers and watercolour paints, her simplistic style and use of modest media has become widely popular. Correll is most commonly known for her drawings of animals, in particular pugs, and depictions of humorous female and anxiety-related experiences. Correll claims that her work illustrates what she felt growing up and feeling like a misfit. No wonder she has such a mass youth following!
Polly Nor is a London-based artist known for her digitally drawn satirical illustrations depicting the demons of women. The themes of her work usually target emotional instability and female sexuality. Working with animator Andy Baker, Nor has also produced a music video for Chelou’s ‘Halfway to Nowhere’, gaining her masses of internet attention. Often posting pictures of people who have had their illustrations tattooed on them, she has already made a permeant mark in the art world. Literally.
Sally Hewett claims to be a feminist; a trope of all her anatomy-based work. As a textile artist, Hewett uses materials to create sculptures resembling the – often sexual – parts of the human body. Not shying away from the reality of the human physique, she is known for including every flaw: veins, spots, scars, bruises and stretch-marks are what to look for when identifying her work.
Based in Pakistan, Sara Shakeel’s work is known well for her surrealist collages of western pop-culture. Often using diamonds in her posts, she claims that she tackles themes such as objectification through this metaphor. Shakeel rose to fame in just one night gaining 15000 followers at once when one of her Mac Lipstick photo manipulations went viral.
Sarley is an American artist who began to make a splash on the Instagram scene in 2015 when she began uploading ‘fruit art videos’. Her work contains sexually suggestive clips of fruit being rubbed and probed, bringing her a huge amount of attention on social media. Sarley claims that her work is about taking on serious themes such as female empowerment and de-stigmatising the menstrual cycle via humour.