Coco Warner-Allen is a London based artist who is currently studying Fine Art at Chelsea. Her multi-media practise explores on feminist ideas such as The Male Gaze, the performativity of the feminine and how damaging this is to girls and women. She produces paintings and photographs, often embroidered with text, to critique and lament the claustrophobic beauty ideals which are perpetuated by the media. She explores the body image issues which are arising due to the current online nature of society and the rise in social media which maintains unrealistic ideals and benefits from the insecurities of young girls.
The works take on a diarist format as she draws on her own lived experience of being in a woman’s body in an image obsessed culture. She also engages in a larger social commentary of what society expects from women, to be sweet, demure and docile. Her work as a textile artist subverts the traditional use of embroidery as a mode to keep women with their hands busy and minds idle. She produces pieces that watch the spectator back, denying voyeurism and passivity, and often includes language that expresses these sentiments.
Coco works to give a voice for women and draw attention to their viewpoint, one so often ignored and under-represented. She uses media such as spray paint to boldly and overtly deny the ideals of what a woman should be and bring women’s voices into the public realm.
As well as literature-based research, Coco also opens up these conversations amongst her own peer group to learn first-hand what it means to be a woman today, and the restrictions they face daily. Her work sets out to break down the conventions of women only being valued for their appearance, both by society and themselves, and overcome the rising form of digital narcissism that is damaging young people today.