How we communicate now
Meet three women who send messages to the world – without saying a word.
Through needlepoint “The more I got into feminism,” says 23-yearold artist Hannah Hill, “the more angry I became that textiles are considered women’s work.” Her Instagram (@hanecdote) is full of her meticulously-stitched memes with paradoxical observation. “[My work] is a criticism of the pressures from social media to look a certain way, and a reminder not to take fashion and society too seriously,” Hannah says. Not bad for women’s work, hey?
Through braids “I thought the email was a joke,” artist Shani Crowe (@crowezilla), 28, recalls of being asked to create a custom headpiece for Solange’s November 2016 Saturday Night Live performance. “But then I thought, ‘I’ll be damned if Solange hits me up asking for her crown and I don’t have it!’” She had it, Solange wore it, and it was fabulous. Shani says she mastered plaiting for one very important reason, “I wanted to encourage black women who have been conditioned to devalue their beauty to see that they are beautiful and complete.”
Through nails There’s nail art, and then there’s nails by Mei: custom, often 3D designs by manicurist Mei Kawajiri (@nailsbymei). Her creations specialise in the absurd – a finger spanning images of Pablo Picasso’s ‘Guernica’ mural and a boob manicure are standouts – but for Mei, 35, who moved from Tokyo, Japan, to New York, US, in 2012, they’re essential. “Nails are part of my voice,” she says. “If they’re blank, I feel like people won’t understand me.”