Photographer Ashley Armitage has launched a new, inclusive online gallery that believes the artists behind the work are just as important as the content they’re producing
If you’ve been flipping through the Dazed photography section in the past six or so months, you would have noticed photographer Ashley Armitage’s work. She’s hell-bent on pushing aside the mainstream notions of what we’ve been told are beautiful or normal and making room for what’s realistic – i.e. ourselves, untouched. Anyone doing this, is a welcome addition in my books, but what makes them even more welcome is when they create a platform for other women to do the same. Which is just what the Seattle-based photographer has done by launching Girlfriends Gallery. “Girlfriends is a gallery whose mission is to showcase body positive, diverse, and intersectional art”, she explains, adding that while it will be a mostly non-binary and female-focused space, Armitage also wants it to be inclusive to all – whether that’s in relation to your discipline or walk of life. “To me, the artists behind the work are just as important as the content itself”, she adds. Below, Armitage shares with us some of the incredible women she’s already got on her book – just a week since launching.
“I remember the first time I saw Miranda Lorikeet's work. I found her on Tumblr a couple years ago and I couldn't believe what she creates JUST by using Microsoft Paint. Her work is beautiful and explores the female form in surreal landscapes. Pastel color is really important in her work, whether it's a strawberry milk colored ocean or a creamy lavender sunset, she knows how to do it all perfectly.”
“Samera Paz is both a narrative and documentarian photographer. Her work ranges from documenting protests (she took beautiful pictures at a Freddie Gray protest) to documenting what it means to be a girl in her series entitled ‘Becoming GIRL’. ‘Becoming GIRL’ is a beautiful work that shows her and her female family members, some young and some old, and how society defines them as ‘girls’.”
“Abby Dougherty is a dream. She works at a candy store in Portland but hangs out in Seattle a lot. I first found her work in the summer when we were in a group show together that was put on by Rose Gold. Abby goes by the pseudonym Neon Saltwater, and creates dreamy nostalgic roomscapes for a past that never happened. Her digital spaces remind me of an abandoned pastel 80s mall with indoor plants and neon lights.”
“Elizabeth Sanchez's photos take place in dreamy, colorfully lit bedrooms. Her subjects are all dressed up with nowhere to go. But what I like is the idea that they don't need anywhere to go. They didn't put on makeup to impress anyone; they did it for themselves.”
“I first learned of Chloe Sheppard's work via Remi Riordan's Crybaby Zine, and I fell in love immediately. Chloe is really good at capturing light. There's something warm and sparkly in every one of her photos. I also love the way her model's personalities come out in her work. She's such a pro at showing their expressions. Her models either look totally disinterested by closing their eyes, looking away, texting, or they look comfortable and relaxed, as if they're dreaming.”