Meet the Durham grad turning your nudes into art
People send her naked selfies and she draws them
Georgia Small isn’t your average graduate who fled to Melbourne in hope of “finding herself”, she’s the brains and talent behind Project Secret Selfie.
The project asks women to send in nudes “that you’re too scared to share in the flesh”, and she recreates them “into the work of art you are” by drawing them without faces.
After finishing her degree in English Literature at Durham, Georgia developed her lifelong love for drawing into her own style of art, she told The Tab: “When I moved to Melbourne I was surrounded by so much creativity and art, I couldn’t stop drawing. It was a weird transition to go through as an artist from copying to creating.”
Project Secret Selfie is distinct in its core focus on the modern nude selfie with every image including a phone. “The project is about our generation and the way we perceive ourselves. I want the phones to be there as a symbol for our era” Georgia explains.
“Each image also has no head so it’s kind of anonymous. It’s about seeing yourself as art, and not as something to be objectified.”
The project started after Georgia drew a mirror selfie of herself, one which she confessed “would NEVER be posted online”. After cutting her head out of the picture the 22-year-old felt that it had an impacting message and by turning it into art, felt she could share her body positivity in a creative way.
By not drawing in faces she feels like it’s a lot easier for girls to be confident in sending her photos as there’s an element of disconnect. “It’s also an attempt to separate your mind from your body, to allow yourself to see your body as a beautiful creation and not let your head get in the way of positive thoughts.”
The nude element stems from Georgia’s own battle to love her body, something that she has struggled with for a long time. “I have an immense appreciation for the female body that I cannot seem to find for myself.
“I think selfies are epic paradoxes; simultaneously empowering and full of vulnerability. For me, I feel an immense satisfaction in being entirely in charge of my own appearance, but at the same time there’s the terrifying realisation that you are the only person responsible for the image you take.”
The nude has been an art form for centuries, often used as a focus for ideals of beauty and Georgia concurs, “Nudes are where the art lies. Art is the outline of a body, the rim of a nipple, the curvature of the waistline. It’s not in the clothes you choose to wear or how you cover your face.
“Being able to focus on other people’s nudes has been incredible. Turning out of myself and my own worries, and instead thinking about others and helping with their insecurities has been the most refreshing feeling ever.”
Georgia has since been overwhelmed by the response and demand for illustrations, something which she never predicted happening. “This project makes me feel like I have a purpose. I have a tendency of getting stressed over my existential purpose and I feel by focussing on other people, I have found a huge sense of fulfilment.
“To eventually make money whilst doing something that makes me feel incredible, creative and able to spread love would be an absolute dream.
“I’m very happy with life right now and this project is definitely a huge part of it.”
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