Roxanne Tull, born 1987, is a Toronto-based mixed-media artist who uses pencil crayon and ink to showcase her emotional experience. Tull is visually impaired; she has no left peripheral vision. Although she is partially sighted, she can see shapes, colours and textures. Tull has been drawing and painting since the age of ten, and has developed a unique style which is composed of many organic shapes that explode on her paper. Tull does not plan ahead; her compositions are in-the-moment creations.
Tull was bullied by her peers and had a hard time overcoming the harmful interactions alone. She has a seizure disorder, is legally blind and has a learning disability. Because Tull has been bullied herself, she understands what it’s like to feel helpless or alone and she wants to help others who are going through a similar situation.
Roxanne Tull found her strength in her art. Art is a means to express your emotions and experiences. It tells a story about someone’s life. This is Roxanne’s story of overcoming bullying and falling in love with her art. She wants to help make the world bully free by helping others stand strongly by sharing her art and story.
This is my muse and friend, Gareth. The best thing about our friendship is that he gives literal zero fucks about anyone else’s opinion on where he stands. He’s just Gareth. And I think that’s just grand.
In our relationship, he’s helped enable my own sort of freedom that comes with individual expression, which seems to flow through fashion for me. I love how clothing manages to bring art into reality. Each human being their own characters, taking the chance to express who exactly they are through aesthetics, regardless if the pieces come from the ‘mens’ or ‘womens’ sections, is truly beautiful.
I hope this shoot is able to inspire anyone to run free with themselves and their own true expressions. Become Gareth (of sorts). Release yourself Hunny Bee.
The entire shoot was produced by Viiein Dampier
Model: Gareth Iveson
Photography and Styling by Shayla Hickerson
Makeup by Saskia Pateman
Written by Saskia Pateman
I remember one of my first thoughts as we started the shoot was comparing how my body looked to the other girls in the room. I quickly stopped myself and came to the realization that I was doing exactly what this art piece was trying to discourage. I was objectifying the women around me, dissecting their bodies into neatly packaged boxes, trying to create the perfect woman.
“She has a bigger chest than me” “wow her skin is so flawless” “I wish my thighs were smaller like hers” “her face will be so much more captivating in the photos” etc.
I focused on the positive physical aspects of them instead of analyzing the other parts of them that actually matter. Like their kindness, intelligence, world view, humour etc. We so often tell women they are beautiful or pretty before anything else, but why?
Women are so much more than their bodies and this shoot just helped me learn that even more.
I stood beside the other women, confident and proud to be among awesome, likeminded, bold women. I’m glad that the shoot gave me that.
Photo and Styling courtesy of Shayla Hickerson
Models from left to right: John Forget – Fantasia LaPremiere, Allison Drechsler, Amelia Eirynn, Jacqueline Heinrich, Saskia Pateman
Makeup by Jenna Scali and Jessica Frappa
Reclaiming the Feminine Image (Part 2)
In the beginning of the Volume geared towards ‘Exploring Art and the Male Gaze as Influential of Body Image’, members of the community studied the effects of art in the past and how it is still relevant today. Visual representations often become reflective of the current social events, value and life. Pablo Picasso used the topics of prostitution and objectification of the female nude to create his work, Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907).
Fast forward half a century, and objectification remains a notable topic depicted through artistic means. Similar to Picasso, Yves Klein produced art under the male gaze. In his piece, L’Anthropométrie de l’époque bleue (1960), Klein is glorified for his ingenious technical approach. Klein is observed to have listened to classical music, while orchestrating nude, female models covered in Klein blue paint to imprint their bodies onto canvas.
Fast forward another half a century and we end up with similar objectification regarding the current female identity.
I want to examine the continuation of objectification in art. To recreate a historical piece created by the male gaze and present it through a modern, feminine directed experience. I want to create an image, where the creative process within Klein’s work is reversed and the models are shown in a still-shot, pre-imprint.
The imprint of the female nude is depicted on the models to redirect the focus of the human subject. In the original work by Klein, you see an image created by using the female body as a tool, as a stamp, as an object. Her identity and humanity is removed, but through redirecting the focus on the models, they regain their identities. The imprints are recreated, and painted onto female and male models to re-humanize their form. These models exist not for the male gaze, but rather by owning their own image.