In Awe of the Female Form
Words by Charlotte Brownlee
Womanhood for me is an ever-evolving relationship with myself and through my creative process
Alice Cherry is a Sydney-based artist whose work celebrates femininity and womanhood. Having completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts with Honours, she’s showcased her work in many art galleries in both Sydney and Melbourne, as well as doing collaborations with brands such as Par Femme. You can even have Alice’s art with you forever as a tattoo!
Stating that she is “in awe of the female form”, her artwork reflects this in a myriad of ways. From her fine line drawings to embroidery on t-shirts and totes, Alice’s work embodies empowerment, peace, the private inner self and spiritual energy. When talking about one of her private commissioned pieces she had this to say about the woman in the piece, “she inspires self-love, acceptance and most of all, the growth and strength that comes when we allow ourselves to be vulnerable.”
I got to pick Alice’s brain about the connections between her art and womanhood, and how it inspires her work. We also chatted about her personal experience within this realm, including femininity, mental health and the ins and outs of being an artist.
What three words come to mind when thinking of both womanhood and your art? Cathartic, self-loving, vulnerable.
How has your perception of womanhood changed over time? My relationship with femininity has evolved as I have entered adulthood and experienced all the changes that come with learning about who I am and how to love myself. I really struggled with understanding what it meant to be ‘feminine’ and what a ‘woman’ is and really honed in on this in my early 20’s which actually inspired me to begin drawing. In a way, the women in my creative process are self-portraits, as I learn how to be my strongest, most empowered self but are also an ode to all women.
In what ways does womanhood inspire your art? Womanhood for me is an ever-evolving relationship with myself and through my creative process, I meditate on the phases and stages I go through mentally, and all the feelings that go with the ebbs and flows of these changes. The more I learn, I associate my perception of womanhood to being the most vulnerable, loving version of myself and in touch with my emotional, mental and spiritual health. Womanhood inspires me to be the most honest and open I can be.
What are some of the ways you like to look after your mental health and practice self-care? Being in nature, the ocean, mediation, doing something creative every day, writing. It is so important for me to try and fit a little bit of any of these things into my daily routine to maintain my mental health and feel present in my body. I am a cancer after all and the emotions that come with that are huge so even something as simple as conscious breathing brings me back to the present and helps me most importantly to feel grounded. Also gratitude lists! This is life changing.
Womanhood inspires me to be the most honest and open I can be.
We agree that womanhood is a powerful thing; how do you step into this powerful position and embrace your femininity? Learning to love myself, accepting myself as I am, appreciating my body and all that it does for me, the wonderful women who surround me, surrendering to my feelings and making it my superpower.
When you feel creatively blocked what do you like to do to push through that? Doodling in my journal, taking myself out for a coffee, people watching, reading, heading to a local art gallery.
If you could give some advice to your younger self, what would it be? Being vulnerable is a strength.
What is the most exciting part of being an artist? I am so grateful to have found my passion so young and every day I am grateful for it. It is really exciting to always be creating (my studio is full of half started projects!) and having an outlet that is so energising.
What is the most challenging part of being an artist? It is difficult to maintain self-confidence and feeling like what you have to share with the world is important. It is all a part of the process and I am learning to push through and just keep going/find new ways to be creative.
Are there any issues that you seek to address and break down through your art? Stigma around mental health, stereotypes that surround femininity and Feminism. I would say that I use my art as a form of understanding how I personally relate to these concepts and work through how I want to re-learn how I view myself.
You’ve recently started embroidering your art onto t-shirts and tote bags; what’s next for you? Hosting drawing classes, going back to study, focusing on my writing, creating a zine, market stalls. I have so many ideas in mind for me and my ladies at the moment which is really exciting!
Charlotte lives and writes on unceded Boon Wurrung land. She’s majoring in psychology but enjoys exploring a multitude of subjects on offer in her Bachelor of Arts degree such as creative writing, philosophy, gender studies and criminology. Volunteering for a number of different non-profit organisations, she is passionate about social justice issues and seeks to make real change. She likes writing and speaking about mental health as well as sustainability and ethics within the fashion industry. She also enjoys reading and writing poetry. Ultimately, Charlotte loves to channel anything that is close to her heart into her creative endeavours. She’s also a peanut butter fanatic (yes that includes eating it out of the jar), a mediocre (but aspiring to be better) plant mum, and adores nothing more than her Jack Russell Max. You can check out some of Charlotte’s work through her Instagram at @charlottebrownlee_
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