Sarah Britten Art

Paintings in lipstick

I will not be afraid

These paintings are all linked by a theme of gender and gender-based violence.  

A lot of my work addresses gender-based themes by default: if the medium is the message, then painting bulls and cities and lipstick certainly does make a point about notions of femininity and masculinity. If you experience cognitive dissonance looking at this work, you’re meant to.

The apple comes from a series painting in memory of Anene Booysen, the wildlife art from a series painted to commemorate 16 days of activism against gender violence.

Nearly 12 years ago, when I first started painting with lipstick, apples were one of the first subjects I tackled. They were red, for one thing, and their link to the Biblical story of the Garden of Eden meant that the paintings took on many layers of meaning. 

The wildlife art here is inspired by my time spent in the bush. To be a woman is to be afraid of the dark. In the dark, danger lurks. But lionesses are not afraid of the dark. They face it head on and conquer it.  They are equipped with teeth and claws to overcome anything that threatens to harm them or their offspring.

I am not sure whether anyone else in the world is painting feminist wildlife art, but it’s a theme I plan to explore further.

To see more of the Anene works, go to

To see more of the work that forms a part of the wildlife series, go to

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