The POWER of Art, Art Competition

– Gallery of Entries

‘Pictures speak a thousand words’

The concept of ‘honour’ is used as a way of maintaining power and control over others, especially women and girls. This art competition gave participants the chance to use the POWER of art to raise awareness and take a united stand against ‘honour’-based abuse.

Winner of under 18’s – Zena, Cherwell School

Winner of over 18’s – ‘I am my own’ canvas, Andra

Artist’s description: There are two elements to the painting: the background illustrating someone falling into a body of water, and the painted piece of notebook paper saying ‘I am my own’. The background refers to how women are pressured to represent honour and drown their personal wishes. The piece of paper refers to how we have the power to speak up to expectations through art, be it painting or even simple words written on paper. I wanted to render the page realistically in contrast to the illustrative background so it stands out as out of place.

Runner up of under 18’s – Edie

Artist’s description: My artwork represents the emotional state of a victim of honour based abuse. The young woman is surrounded by a sea of foreboding eyes which represent the collusion of family members and possibly members of the wider community in some cases of honour based abuse. The mouth over the victim’s head is a metaphor for her emotional state of mind – it suggests her mind is screaming for help, whilst her actual mouth is shut and her real voice is silenced, she is controlled and feels powerless.


Artist’s description: Breast ironing and ‘virginity’ testing are both silent crimes. These harmful practices are performed upon girls’ and women’s bodies in an attempt to define their self-worth and to control their sexuality. Self-worth and sexuality are for each girl and woman to define and express as she sees it, and for that she is never to blame for male sexual violence.


Artist’s description: I personally have always had a hard time seeing my body positively. This sculpture represents how our bodies are ultimately a place for us to grow and develop ourselves inside and out. Through the power of art and representation, we can overcome society’s standards and expectations. Virginia’s body is not a natural skin tone, as she represents each of us. I added a flower to the cactus because it is a rare and short-lasting event. Getting a cactus to flower requires lots of patience, just like seeing yourself overcome your own difficulties.


Lina and Kaya






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