Offbeat

By Sophie Norris


An art student who uses her own body to create provocative prints has set up BREAST PAINTING workshops to help women ‘honour’ their bodies.

Sarah Macias, 22, runs the women-only events where artists smear their boobs in paint and press them against paper to create abstract pieces.

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The three-hour workshops combine dancing and painting to create ‘interactive’ artwork and were launched after Sarah created a series of vagina prints and menstrual blood paintings.

Since launching the boob art classes in Manchester this month more than 400 women have signed up for them.

Despite Sarah using the classes to highlight a woman’s body shouldn’t always be sexualised, she says her her artwork is still bombarded by misogynistic comments.

Sarah, originally from Switzerland, said: “People see the word ‘breasts’ and immediately sexualise them. That’s really hard to swallow.

“These classes are about honouring the female sexual body. Women are taught they can’t use their sexuality because it’s dirty.

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“Doing art with the breasts or with menstrual blood is a way of making art and showing there is nothing wrong with it.

“I’m an artist and my practice includes a lot of body art. The classes are a mixture of dancing and painting. I find them very therapeutic, we paint with our bodies while dancing.

“The women who enjoy breast painting feel really empowered by it but we get so many misogynistic comments.”

Sarah started the classes as part of her art degree and claims she was encouraged by ‘slut-shaming’ by people who felt her art was ‘too much’.

Breast painting is her latest venture but in the past Sarah has involved menstrual blood and her vagina in her work.

Sarah said: “I have been experimenting by painting with different parts of my body for a number of years.

“I also do menstrual blood painting because there’s a lot of stigma around periods.

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“A couple of years ago, I put some paints on my vagina and did some prints.

“Or I will insert a yoni egg [egg-shaped carved stone which can be inserted into the vagina] and attached it to some string. I then attached a brush to the string and start painting.

“I have been doing this type of work since I moved to Manchester around two years ago to study interactive art.

“The female body can be sexual or not sexual but it’s not something dirty.

“It’s about taking away all the shame women feel about their bodies. People consider breasts to be quite intimate.

“I have also been slut shamed in the past. Each time I publish something at the beginning I would get nervous because I reveal a lot but to my surprise the reception has been positive.

“I think it’s a bit too much for some but most people love it.”

MERCURY PRESS. 16/05/18

Sarah said her workshop has attracted lots of attention – including from men.

Sarah said: “We had a lot of men saying they were going to come. They were taking the p***.

“We had so many men saying ‘we’re going to come and get our t**s out’.

“A lot of people are interested in my art. Within one day of posting about the breast painting classes I had more than 400 people saying they were interested.

“I really would like to work with men into the future and do an all-inclusive workshop.

“I’ve had a lot of girls sign up for the workshop then not turn up because they’re too embarrassed and uncomfortable so that’s why it’s important for us to keep it female-only at the moment.”

Delphine Rosse, who attended the class, said: “I thought the sessions were very insightful and positive and a positive encouragement to better appreciate yourself and your place in life.

“It was a safe and playful environment, combining actual self-awareness issues with fun and laughter.”