Complexd Women

A day in the life of cosmopolitan women around the world


83 year old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, has voluntarily resided in a psychiatric hospital for the past 4 decades. Now you can experience her violently happy, and silently loud creations in a large exhibition at the Tate Modern.  Each room offers a new artistic standpoint that reflects her unique portrayal of the world.  Her renowned polka dots and large-scale installations engross the viewer and transports them to a vibrant and poetic world. The words intriguing, breathtaking and magical sum up Yayoi Kusama’s exhibition at the Tate Modern.

Yayoi Kusama - Tate Modern: Exhibition - 9 February – 5 June 2012

Entry Fee – £10, concessions available

By Ashleigh Johnson-Palmer

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This fun animation is our favourite visual representing the celebration of women around the world for International Woman’s Day. Our Women of Strength issue is Complexd’s contribution to the IWD theme “Connecting Girls, Inspiring Futures”. On page 16-17, 21 year old Lucille Murray talks about raising her two boys with love and care and adopting her sister, so that they could have the happy family they’ve always wanted. On page 34-41 Artist, Ambassador and Activist Yewande Austin explains why she needs to be the strong voice for the young girls on her program. On page 42-47 writer Shruti Bedi expresses her concern for the girl child in India. And lastly on page 64-75 Adrian Fisk asks young women in China and India to write down their thoughts about their hopes, dreams, aspirations and how they feel about the world.

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Matilda the Musical is creative, clever and fantastically funny all at once. Before the show starts it’s difficult to imagine how anyone could capture the spirit of Roald Dahl’s fictitious world of Matilda but with Dennis Kelly’s re-writing, Tim Minchin energetic composition and Matthew Warchus  directing they manage to keep the familiarity of the popular book alive, creating a new griping west end experience .  The minute a flock of animated brats burst onto the stage singing ‘My mummy say’s I’m a miracle’, the story of Matilda – an unwanted child phenomenon with repugnant parents – is brought to life.  The show’s strength lies in its entertaining comedy that both adults and children can relate too. It’s a family must see, not to be missed.

For more information visit

Reviewed by Ashleigh Palmer Johnson 

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‘A nice reminder that a powerful emotion like happiness can be beautifully captured on people of any age’

German photographer Karsten Thormaehlen’s latest exhibition Jahrhundertmensch (Happy at One Hundred) photographs men and women over a hundred years old.


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Art Basel Miami Beach – words and visuals by Heike Wollenweber

Art Basel Miami Beach is not just about exhibitions at the Convention Center, it’s a mixture of art, brunches, lunches, street parties, street art and fashion.

Art Basel Brunch at Sagamore hotel…


Girl on Globe by Yinka Shonibare 

Red Dot satellite fair

Street art…

A few of my favourites…

Dior made a noise with neon designs by artist Anselm Reyle while Swiss luxury brand Bally teamed up with artist Olaf Breuning. 

Kehinde Wiley one of the most significant African-American painters exhibited 6 of his unique paintings.

British artist Tracey Emin who was a guest speaker at this year’s event shared some of her poetry. She had a soft and sweet persona which revealed a hint of rebel attitude every now and then. 

The opening night is dominated by Bass Museum. This year’s solo exhibition was by Austrian artist Erwin Wurm who interacted with viewers by inviting them for a drink. 

AE District Gallery held a special exhibition by Reebok featuring photography by Jonathan Mannion, Jay Z, Rick Ross, Kanye and Mos Def.  

Will Ryman made the beach bloom at the Sagamore Hotel in South Beach. These beautiful roses made the annual Art Basel Brunch extra special.


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South African photographer Jodi Bieber reviews her project Real Beauty.

‘The work deals with reality; photoshop has not been used to remove blemishes, scars, cellulite and any other form of ‘imperfection’.

‘The photographic shoot was collaboration between me and each woman. Each woman’s pose was pretty much self-directed. I wanted each woman to project their personality or their fantasy into their shoot so they could explore their own identity in relation to beauty’

‘One thing that came to light in Real Beauty was that South Africa is conservative as a nation. People thought I was recruiting women for a pornographic shoot! The three main excuses that people used for saying no to being photographed (besides body privacy rights) were; “my” husband wouldn’t agree to it, religious views, and just feeling uncomfortable with their body shapes. Another issue that arose from the images produced from Real Beauty is the different belief systems held amongst different communities. Very thin and tall women might be perceived by their communities as being sick, possibly with HIV/Aids and more full figured women as healthy. In other communities thin women are often more desirable’

‘From the interviews I carried out most women believe that there isn’t a perfect body shape and it’s more about being healthy and feeling comfortable in one’s own skin’

See more of her work here

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Today we came across the work of Photographer Ted Sabarese. We love the different features, textures and colours represented in these images. The women in the portraits are very diverse but the fish on their plates somehow unite them.  Ex English teacher, graphic designer, fiction writer and advertising creative director, Ted Sabarese shoots all kinds of people. He prefers to work with non-professional models and actors who don’t fit the traditional definition of beauty.

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Complexd visuals that combine the customary fashion of two cultures. Fashion editorials that provoke and push boundaries are what we want to see pitched and submitted for our fashion pages. Photographers take note!

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These images of Complexd cover woman Yasmina Rossi where taken by Anwer Sher.  Women are often encouraged to dye their hair at the first sign of grey so it was the strong contrast between Yasmina’s grey/white hair and the horses dark black mane that made Yasmina stand out as a confident Complexd woman.

Horse (euwe) owned by Hoofbeatz trained by Eileen Verdieck

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Complexd visuals features the work of 22 year old Polish Photographer Mirella Szymoniak.

‘I reflect my thoughts in my fashion and beauty images so I can create something rare and emotive. I love to place my models in new worlds that I have designed in my mind. I don’t want to just take fashion pictures, my aim is to create dreams so I draw a lot of inspiration from cinematography and movies directed by David Lynch, Jim Jarmusch, Stanley Kubrick and Tim Burton’

A bit more about me…

At night I dream of…total freedom. Places where there is no bureaucracy, social limitation and mental deficiency. Basically I dream of a Utopia.

My favourite proverb is…”I like to remember things my own way. How I remember them, not necessarily the way they happened” by D. Lynch. I like this proverb because the greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.

Life is…brutal and far too short. I prefer to live it instead of talking about it.

The 4 words that describe my life are…to define is to limit.

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