Home' LOTL : October 2010 Contents 22 Lesbians On The Loose Magazine • lotl.com
Arts Film / Books / Music / Comedy / Theatre / Events
Shiona Herbert was in her twenties when she
rst discovered a love for art, before that, "Art
was something that 'other people did'," com-
ments Shiona. "However a visit to the Louvre Mu-
seum in Paris opened up a whole new world for me of
colour, shape, and form, and I nally understood how
art provokes incredible emotion in people."
No surprise then that Herbert's Breastique Art is a
business that is abundant with emotion. Many of the
women who participate in the Breastique workshops
- where participants take to canvas with their breasts
as brushes - have lost a loved one to breast cancer, or
know someone currently going through it. "About a
quarter of our artists have had a breast removed," ex-
plains Shiona. "We had a wonderful lady who had a
double mastectomy come and do some Breastique
Art. She was so inspiring!"
According to Shiona, "women of all ages, shapes
and sizes" attend the workshops. "We've had women
in their early twenties creating art alongside women
in their sixties. Sisters, mum's and daughters, friends,
even work colleagues come along."
Shiona says it doesn't take long for the participants
to lose their inhibitions and feel comfortable with the
other women in the workshop. "If you don't know an-
yone at the start of the workshop, by the end of it, you
feel like you went to high school with these women,
as everyone bonds in such a positive manner; the envi-
ronment is very encouraging and supportive.
"Sometimes women will even have a releasing
cry, shedding quiet tears while creating their art re-
membering a loved one. is forms a lovely spiritual
atmosphere because participants feel safe to 'reveal'
themselves and their grief."
While she says some women are "raring to go and
can't wait to get their bras o and start painting" oth-
ers can be more reluctant . "We've had women at-
tend who haven't felt comfortable to do the art, but
they've been very content to watch and chat with art-
ists. One such lovely lady just removed her top and
walked around in her bra, helping everyone and ser v-
ing drinks. at was as far as she needed to go to feel
For most women, the most ner vewracking mo-
ment comes as they are about to disrobe. However,
"no one actually looks at each other's breasts, we're
all so focused on the colours and textures of the paint
on the body and how it transfers to the canvas," says
Shiona says the workshops are all run in a very
supportive manner. "Women arrive in comfortable
old clothes (that they don't mind getting paint on)
to chat, nibble and drink champagne to build up a
lovely social supportive atmosphere." Once everyone
is relaxed, the painting begins... "Participants paint up
two canvases: one to take home and one to donate to
Breastique Art to sell and raise funds for BCFWA."
As for the artworks, Shonia says abstractions
dominate. " e majority of art is abstract in its na-
ture. e titles of the art can be quite abstract too:
Manifestation of the Female Orgasm, It's Still Crap,
Acacias... However there is o en great humour in
the titles: Tit's and Pieces, Fish and Nips, Starry Starry
Breastique just to name a few. Breastique Art can be
interpreted in so many di erent ways. We recently
had a journalism student borrow a large bright pink
1m X 1m Breastique Art canvas piece titled Boobs
Galore to illustrate how important it is to use realis-
tic images of women for advertising and marketing
rather than stereotypical images. Boobs Galore suc-
cessfully revealed how beautiful 'non-supermodel-
bodies' are for creating an attractive image."
For more info on Breastique art visit
Breastique -- putting your best breast forward...
Shiona Herbert reveals the story behind the unique art workshops that are empowering women around
the country and raising funds for a good cause at the same time...
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