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Sophie Swinton

MA work


  • MA Degree


    School of Humanities


    MA Jewellery & Metal, 2017

  • In a society where media and advertising are a pervasive force in shaping cultural norms and attitudes, one of the most recurring themes is that a woman’s value and power lie in her youth, beauty, and sexuality. The media’s often limited and frequently disparaging portrayal of women relays the message that women are always in need of adjustment, and that the female body is an object to be perfected, monitored and scrutinised. I am driven by a want to challenge this notion.

    I am interested in the art of subvertising and it is a strong theme within my work. ‘Subvertising’ is a portmanteau of subvert and advertising and is the practice of subverting an existing advert or icon by adding letters or images to change its meaning. I have drawn on this by creating my own subversive beauty brand, products, and accompanying advertising images which borrow the language and imagery of everyday beauty advertising, and surprise by using this familiar appearance to say something unexpectedly different, and expose the absurd and sometimes harmful nature of the advertising and products aimed at women. 

    By inserting my subversive ads into the public realm amongst existing beauty advertising, for example: in the pages of beauty magazines and pasted over posters, I hope that they might create dissonance for the onlooker, and challenge them to think more critically about the mediated images and messages we have become numb to. Ultimately, with an ironic and subversive lens, I aim to encourage people to look twice at the omnipresent world of women’s beauty advertising, and contest its perpetual stream of an unrealistic, ‘perfect’ female form.

  • Degrees

  • BA Hons, Silversmithing and Jewellery Design, Glasgow School of Art, 2013
  • Experience

  • Artist in Residence, Edinburgh College of Art, 2013 – 2014