Through the act of painting, I traverse the thematics of ‘girly’, a murky term unto itself, and cultivate a dream-like world that subtly reclaims and elevates traditionally trivialised, overtly feminine symbols. My practice is a playful exploration of abstraction, investigating the iconography of juvenile femininity as it intersects with adulthood. Soft colourways and symbols of bows, horses, bluebells, and sparkling stars adorn my canvases in shimmering pinks and sun-bleached washes. Through naïve interpretations of ‘girly’ symbols and excessive use of the colour pink, my paintings are imbued with an almost sickly-sweet tension. Among misty, animated scenes, I seek to highlight states of flux as they pertain to the landscape of gender performance, and the visual cultures of ‘girlhood’. I aim to analyse the predisposed notion of femininity as secondary to masculine subjects within a high art context and declare the reclamation of ‘girliness’ in a culture steeped with femme-phobia as a radical act in itself.
Honey Lili Bella Garrett is an artist and student working and living in Naarm, on stolen Wurundjeri country. She is currently enrolled in her final year at RMIT’s School of Art, majoring in Painting. Prior to that, she undertook a year and a half in the Gold and Silver Smithing department. Her recent group exhibitions include Function Room at Little Buttler Street, 2022, Amorphous, an RMIT BA Second Year Exhibition, 2022, and RMIT’s A4 Art Show, 2023. In 2021 she was the recipient of the Koodak Award for the Highest Academic Achievement in First Year Gold & Silversmithing – Donor Mr Gabriel Ripka (Bachelor of Fine Art).