I am woman...
Here is 'grass bum' and opposite sits 'Dick' the orchard!
As a woman, feminist and sexual being it only feels right that my first feature is on artist Maisie Cousins and her first solo exhibition 'grass, peonie, bum' at TJ Boulting (definitely finished by the time anyone is reading this).
I have been intrigued by Maisie's work for some time but seeing it in the flesh (pardon the pun) definitely had more impact as suddenly you're immersed into this colourful, glistening, sensual female world - Maisie's response to the destructive beauty images and ideas we encounter daily...
Maisie's work comes from 'a desire to see femininity and sexuality in a positive and open way' and through the explicit use of marco imagery, 'grass, peonie, bum' takes you on a nature walk - a floral PG version to the birds and the bees - and it's utterly beautiful.
Seduced by the flesh, sweat, and erotic nature of flowers, plants and slugs, it made me question how I feel about my own flesh- in which I too live and breath- but not by way of comparison or with a negative gaze.
Did it make me want to grab my ass, be in my body, and own my fleshy bits? Hell yeah! Because nature all around is telling me we're all just living, sensual creatures doing our thing (and sometimes we can be downright gross).
The challenge for me (and for most of us) is how to absorb that message and reflect it outwards, so like Maisie we can all explore these topics honestly and openly for ourselves.
It's easy to say "I am woman, hear me roar" but the power is in truly knowing.
It makes you realise we need more daily reminders and empowering images like this.