Womanhood can be a battlefield. A hope-filled day that becomes peppered by ‘banterous’ catcalls, accidental space invasions and destructively helpful condescension. These seemingly harmless acts add up. Scars from unseen moments hidden behind a polite smile or a measured laugh. Sometimes it’s safer to say nothing, because it’s nothing after all. Yet these tussles are still there, hindering women before they’ve even truly begun.

In moments like this, what does a woman need to lighten the load? What if she had a way to interject, to reclaim space and to push back on these daily occurrences without even uttering a word?

Unencumbered focuses on ‘harmless’ moments of everyday sexism, aiming to highlight the invisible ways that women can be affected in run-of-the-mill situations and commonplace interactions. Using wry humour as a base, the project proposes a set of worn interventions that can be used to help respond to and gently challenge those normalised instances where active protest seems trivial.

“Give Us A Smile Love” shirt
“Anti-Spread” trousers

1. “Give us a smile love”: pink cotton shirt with a hand-embroidered smile on the underside of the collar
2. “Anti-spread”: aubergine-coloured cotton trousers with wired fabric spring panels along the outer thighs

Exhibited at Sheroes: Revoluciones by Lon-Art at Ugly Duck, London in November 2019.

Read more in: Unencumbered: Process