Romily Alice is creating some electrifying artwork, and we mean that quite literally.
Crafting installation pieces of nude women out of neon lights, Alice’s series Always Turned On is intended to challenge female identity in the modern, internet-influenced age.
Crafting simple figures out of neon, Alice hopes her works will catch viewers’ attention and encourage art enthusiasts to question how we look at the female body.
Examining issues surrounding gender equality, power and the place feminism holds in the current, ‘post-internet age’, Alice’s works question the traditional gender roles and how they function in our lives today.
Alice has lived in London all of her life and is finally coming to the end of her arts degree. Fabricating all of the neons herself, London’s creative community spirit was the inspiration behind taking up an unexplored, difficult medium of artwork.
Working with neons in Alice’s opinion is difficult, time-consuming and frustrating; all qualities which can be reflected in the intended meaning of her installations. Other than that, Alice enjoys the hard work, taking a one day course before she knew the hands-on medium was going to be her forte.
Alice hopes her works will catch viewers attention and encourage art enthusiasts to question how we look at the female body.
“I’m really interested in looking at women’s sexual agency – what is and isn’t allowed for women to talk about in terms of sexuality and sexual pleasure,” she said, “then comparing that to the portrayal of women’s sexuality and sexual pleasure for male consumption.”
The works examine the impact of the male gaze in comparison to the pervasive gaze as a result of social media and ultimately the internal impact those ideals can have on a woman and her body.
The works for Neon Portraits are inspired by anonymous nude photographs sent in by women, with a questionnaire form. Alice stated that the results were heartbreaking, discovering how bad women really are made to feel about their bodies.
“Part of the reason I was doing it was around awareness of the impossible beauty standards women are dealing with, and the effect that has on mental health and sexuality. Hearing about how those things affected people wasn’t surprising, but it was really upsetting,” Alice said.
Although, it wasn’t all bad news, with many women making a stand against social media and the ideologies of how women should look today.