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BSO 2014

Filtering by Category: BigSwingingOvaries

'Channeling the Great'

Jessika Wahls



- is a piece that, without further ado just had to happen!

At any given moment in time i usually have a number of pieces in my head, which i am planning to realize at some point in the future.

This wasn't one of them.

So far, most of my pieces have been on the larger side of things and i decided after the 'Gia' commission that it was time for some smaller pieces to broaden my range.

With that in mind and the Brick Lane Gallery group show vastly approaching, 'CHANNELING THE GREAT' started to materialize in my head .

I guess it's basically a multi-homage to people i admire,- artists that inspire me and who helped defining what me and my art has grown into and continues to grow into.So in case you haven't figured all of them out, here goes: Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Piet Mondrian an Jann Harworth, who as i recently found out , is one of the pioneers of soft sculpture.Also, in the unlikely event of you missing it ...#bigswingingovaries is of course part of it too.

So that's really it! 'art in mind' was a lovely little first outing for this piece and i am sure more will follow till it finds it forever home.

For price inquiries or any other questions just get in touch on

So long....




Dr Ronx

Jessika Wahls

Dr Ronx Dr Ronx (80CM x100cm + frame), Textile on wood


Dr Ronx is part of a series of hand-sewn relief portraits of inspiring female role-models created from upcycled clothing.

Being a real life London gal as well as a Doctor, i chose to create her portrait as part of my #bigswingingovaries series.

To me Ronx is the visualisation of tenacity and perseverance,- proof that through hard work your dreams can come true.

Dr Ronx


Dr Ronx


Who features in #bigswingingovaries and why

Jessika Wahls

Vivienne Westwood Became a self-trained british fashion designer around the age of 35. She's also known as the godmother of punk. From being self proclaimed anti-establishment as well as being a mother of two, to becoming one of the world most famous fashion designers with even an OBE to her belt, she is very much an inspiration to any women today! She does not associate herself to be a feminist, but by all means leads a very inspirational life, full of drive, determination and creativity. _DAF0010 copy

Frida Kahlo

Was a mexican painter, also self-taught , who is often associated with the surrealist movement, although she often proclaimed that she wasn't painting her dreams, but much more her own reality! Badly hurt and deeply wounded for life by a bus accident, she was bed-ridden and in stabilising corsets for most of her life, which inspired many scrutinising self-portraits. Her crass depiction of the female body and genitalia ,in fact the female condition, has spoken to many women of my generation. She is widely seen as a feminist heroin. unnamed

Marlene Dietrich

A fellow Berliner, and a 1920 screen serene, Marlene is a huge inspiration due to her bravery in war times, for being openly outspoken as a famous german actress and chanteuse against the 3 Reich and Hitler, performing for american soldiers near the german borders to keep the spirits high, and eventually excepting american citizenship. Playing with the gender roles, in dressing androgynous very much like Friday Kahlo and therefore challenging the set social structures of the time, when women were expected to dress feminin stay at home and raise children, which part in large parts was also taken on by her husband. _DAF0073 copy

Isabel Allende

Is a chilean writer and niece of fallen president of Chile, Salvador Allende and one of my favourite authors. Her stories usually beautifully weave together historic events and story telling fiction mainly exploring women and the female condition. She actively supports feminism with her charity foundation inspired by the early passing of her daughter Paula.( The foundation is dedicated to supporting programs that promote and preserve the fundamental rights of women and children to be empowered and protected . _DAF0074 copy

Beyoncé Knowles

Is an american singer songwriter and actress. She is one of the most successful female stars on the planet and a self-described modern-day feminist! Her songs are often themed with love, relationships, monogamy, female sexuality and empowerment! She is a philantrophist who supports many charities and good causes but predominantly campaigns for female empowerment. Also, i gotta admit, i have spent my teenage years and adolescence singing along to her 'independent women' lyrics! _DAF0124 copy

Me - Jess de Wahls

Being a product of influences and experiences, i have found that one of the most important qualities for empowerment and strength is self-appreciation, because indeed without any you will never achieve great things in life! People can be an inspiration to you but, everybody should be kind to themselves and believe in their abilities! So there, when i am a grown-up, i want to be an inspiration! I also found in exploring role models and Feminism as my exhibition subject, that there is a distinct lack of young women standing up calling themselves a feminist, and i want to show with my portrait that feminists come in all shapes and sizes and that stereotypes like 'man-haters' 'not feminine' and whatever else anti feminists would like to have you believe are total rubbish. These stereotypes are maintained by men and women alike who instead of embracing and excepting feminism as a important part of life, rather stagnate in their own ignorance and fear, stripping themselves of the wonderful experience that real equality provides. _DAF0895 copy

Dr. Sue Black

Sue is an english computer scientist,a friend, a customer at the salon, and a huge inspiration! She is many things, such as a mother of 4 amazing kids, whom she brought up by herself after an abusive marriage ended in having to flee to a women's shelter. She then went on to study and gained her BSc (hons), followed by a PhD aged 39! She has been campaigning for equality and more support for women in tech since 1998, as well as for the saving of bletchley park , which is now saved! Her project #techmums is the charity i want to support with half the proceeds made by the sale of my pictures. It is a project that teaches mums about technology and helps overcoming fear and helplessness in face of modern day computer technic! I believe it's a fantastic thing! _DAF0677 copy

Clara Michaux

Also knows as my 4 year old goddaughter, who is not only the apple of my eye, but much more a future inspiration to me as a women and a feminist. With her in mind i came up with the up-cycled monsters, which eventually lead to the protraits i am currently sewing. I want the world to be a more equal place for her! I don't want her to be sexualised at a young age and i want to be super-jess for her and a bit of a role model really, so she sees that women can and will shake up the world!!! _DAF0603 copy

Coco Chanel

Was a french fashion designer and founder of the Chanel brand. She was credited with liberating women from the constraints of the 'corsetted silhouette' by populating the acceptance of sportive, casual chic. She was determined and full of ambition in both, her personal and professional life. Growing up in a convent in france, she learned sewing. Through a number of patrons and her immaculate sense of business, she managed to not only build a huge brand and become fully self-sufficient as a woman, but also to climb in social class,at a time where usually only marriage could do such thing! _DAF0005 copy


Is an american singer -songwriter and and actress and one of the most successful and trailblazing artists of our generation. Through her songs she challenged other singers and songwriters to add substance to their own sound. With her get-up and go attitude and sporting the odd ball, making tough women Cool, she has been and remains a huge influence on me and many other women! _DAF0070 copy

Frida Kahlo "Viva la Vida Frida"

Jessika Wahls

detail facepart detail face 20130803-001154.jpg

" Viva la vida Frida"

Frida Kahlo remains one of my all time greatest artistic  as well as human inspirations! By chance i came across the movie of the same name in 2003. I was captivated. This woman went through so many obstacles, creating ,as her husband Diego Riviera put it, poetry on a canvas. Her art has not only greatly moved me but was also the driving force behind the first feeble attempts of me taking up painting! Her influence can very much be seen in said paintings and her use of of colour has stayed with me and my art although the medium has changed. For those of you that don't know her, here is a little introduction to her art and her life.

Magdalena Carmen Frieda Kahlo y Calderón was a self-trained mexican painter, born on the 6th of july 1907 in Coyoacán, Mexico and died there at the age of 47.

She produced a great body of work, best know for her self-portraits, which she painted with her often being the subject and the object nearest to her, after a nearly fatal bus accident as a teenager which left her bed-ridden for great lengths of time.

She used her art to work through her isolation, pains, fears and disappointments and her way of portraying the female form and condition was uncompromising and raw.

She was married to the famous mexican muralist Diego Riviera, whoms extramaternal affairs caused her a great deal of pain, which can also be found in her paintings, albeit her own infidelities soon followed with men as well as women. Leon Trotzky, Josephine Baker and Isamu Noguchi where intimate relations of her to name but a few.

Riviera and Kahlo where divorced and re-married until her untimely death on july the 13th, 1954 at the age of 47. The official cause of death was given as a pulmonary embolism, although thee are plenty of rumours surrounding the 'real' reason to her early passing.

Shortly before she died, she wrote in her diary " i hope the exit is joyful - and i hope never to return"

Words hardly express the inspiration i draw of the legacy left by this woman. I am just so grateful that she was alive to make such a huge impression on me. In homage to her i have a poppy tattoo on my wrist with the caption-

Viva la Vida