Muslim Woman’s Feminist Artwork Makes Waves and LOLs

by Hallie Marks

‘Menstruate with Pride’

You know that feeling you get when you listen to a song and you feel like the lyrics were written for you? Or when you read a book and think the words could have been ripped from your journal? Or when you see a bangin’ piece of art and think, “I wish I could express my frustration towards patriarchal systems like that!”  Okay, maybe you haven’t thought that last one yet, but you will after you see artwork by Sarah Maple. Maple works in a variety of mediums, including photography, mixed media, and paintings, to name a few.

NSFW-ish pieces ahead….

‘Using my intelligence’ – Oil, acrylic and gloss on canvas – 2008

The British artist explores various intersecting themes in her work, drawing from her own identities as a British Muslim woman. Her pieces are provocative, controversial, and just plain funny. These pieces are personal ways of questioning the normative notions of culture, religion, identity, gender roles, and beauty expectations.


‘Who Wore It Best-Burka’, ‘Who Wore It Best-Tits’

‘Ariel Graduation’ – C-Type Print – 10 x 8 ins – 2011

On her website, she has posted a few interesting responses to her work, including the following:

‘There may be comedy here, but Maple is no joke.’

-Tom Jeffreys, Spoonfed

‘Maple’s art relies purely on her being attractive and Muslim.’


‘It’s very emotive stuff. She is using the female notion of appropriateness to explain political and personal realism.’

-Anthony Gormley, artist

Why do you think she includes the quote on her site? I’m thinking this critique of her work is exactly what she is critiquing in society.

‘White Girl’ – C-Type Print – 2007

‘Untitled with skirts up’ – Oil on board – 40.5 x 51 cm – 2011

‘Passport’ – Acrylic and gloss on board – 133 x 60 cm – 2007

Her pieces are so perceptive that we hope she continues to get recognition for her work and she keeps making waves, not only in the art world, but in society as well. Sometimes a great piece of art is all it takes to get someone thinking about the way culture and gender operate. It might be naïve to think that we can change the world right now, but there’s nothing wrong with trying. 

‘Signs’ – C-Type Print – 2007

Thanks to:,

Images from: ,,,, 

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