GIF power! 5 creative womxn share their feminist digital art

Yoh! Womxn’s Month is basically done but that doesn’t mean all the issues we confront as womxn, year after year, magically disappear. In fact, we still have to deal with life’s highs and challenges.

So in light of this, we asked Cape Town gif exhibition organisers, exhibit.gif, to curate a collection of digital art pieces by womxn artists that explore topics related to our shared and diverse experiences.

The gif collective have selected artists that depict and engage themes relating to objectification, body positivity and vulnerability, plus more. Besides the depth of these digital artworks by the likes of Natalie Paneng, Jessica Smith, Inka Kendzia, they’re also moving AF. Here they are.

Jo Jackson

Who are you? Writer, blogger and founder of the digital space Koeksisters
Where are you based? Cape Town
Tell us about this body of work. Break ups have become intertwined with our digital lives in such painful ways. Easy to Lose is about getting stuck in that destructive loop. It’s about disappearing. It’s about the negative thoughts that say, “If I’m so easy to lose, I can’t be worth very much.” — Jo


I Used to Cry Alone


Easy to Lose

Natalie Paneng

Who are you? A multidisciplinary artist and set designer
Where are you based? Johannesburg
Could you share more about these gifs? These are just different versions of me. I like to explore the idea of softness or vulnerability, and reject the angry black woman narrative. I wanna put this version of awkward black girls out there. We are cute and relevant. — Natalie


My Icky Furry Heart




Beary Boring Betsy

Inka Kendzia

Who are you?  Visual artist, veejay, content creator and animation director
Where are you based? Cape Town
Could you share more about these gifs? The thoughts I had while making these gifs were about inner feelings shining through our beings, and how we project ourselves onto others. At times, we feel trapped in our female bodies because the world prescribes a [specific] value to them. The way we are viewed by everyone from the outside to the extreme of objectification has absolutely nothing to do with who we really are or our true nature. — Inka


I Gather Up Each Sound You Left Behind

Jessica Smith

Who are you? A visual artist and dancer
Where are you based? Cape Town
What do you know for sure? A body has to be able to be a body without being sex. I have sex, I love sex, but my body is so much more. I’m so happy to have a body that can be a tool for expression, there is nothing to censor. All bodies are beautiful and the existence of all womxn, however it is presented, is important. — Jessica 


Oscular Light


Nectar Ambrosia I



Riley Thompson

Who are you? A multidisciplinary artist
Where are you based? Cape Town
What’s this gif about? This piece really speaks for itself and perhaps gives hints to the structures and power dynamics of our greater systems. This work was created in 3D software using 2D splines, exploring rotation, expansion, contraction and breathing. I didn’t really have a plan, it was meant to be part of the messy mandala series but ended up being not that messy at all. — Riley


Meditating on Metatron


Between 10 and 5