Culture

Ruth Fox On Making Body-Positive Art: ‘I Want My Art To Encourage The Beauty In The Alternative’

Ruth Fox is a contemporary British artist who is challenging our long-held perceptions of beauty one colourful, pastel sketch at a time. Here, she tells her story.

By Natalie Cornish

Culture

Ruth Fox is a contemporary British artist who is challenging our long-held perceptions of beauty one colourful, pastel sketch at a time. Here, she tells her story.

By Natalie Cornish

“We carry our bodies around our whole lives, yet we’ve carefully sculpted these damaging ideas about what constitutes ‘hot’ or ‘beautiful’ or ‘ideal’. I wanted to draw people who felt awkward, disappointed or ashamed about part of their physical appearance – and do so in a massive window of a gallery space, not only to encourage a sense of empowerment through self-instigated positions of vulnerability, but as a way of laughing (and staring) in the face of it all.

“When I first started making work, I didn’t just want it to be just about developing a concept and making a living. I wanted my work have purpose to it and move people, and at the same time, I started getting tired of how we perceive our physical identities and judge our own bodies in a way that can destroy or stroke our egos, based on the ‘beauty system’ – the fantasies executed by advertising, magazines and by us on social media. Many people have started to try and make these fantasies our realities, and I just think we’ve lost the plot! So I wanted to make work that encouraged a solution to this, particularly for women, and which offered different ways of looking at and seeing the body.

Image credit: Jez Smith

“In some areas of life, conformity or conventionality can be so damaging. I want my art to encourage the beauty in the alternative: that there is no other you, or me, out there.”

Finding Your Voice is a special photographic series highlighting female activism. You can read more about Ruth here and follow her @ruth_fox