The Girls

Stephanie, Age 18

  • Painting
  • Acrylic paint on canvas
  • 93(w) 110(h) 0(d) mm

My best friend Elizabeth is the inspiration for this painting. We’ve been seen as a pair for most of our lives, and I wanted to explore our individual identities within our relationship. Being in a predominantly white secondary school has made it hard to feel recognised as your own person; us two getting mistaken for one another so often, no matter how different our clothes, hairstyles and faces looked, felt like we were put into a ‘box’. Throughout our last 2 years in sixth form I noticed this feeling manifesting itself through the way we presented ourselves. In a way of retaliation, we’ve explored our blackness in different ways, e.g. me getting colourful braids or Elizabeth developing her street-style fashion. This painting symbolises us growing into ourselves and how sometimes spitefulness is a good thing!