The story of Brenda

Us in the art studio, 2011.

Hayley and I met in Brighton seven years ago while studying an art foundation course. We both chose the fine art pathway and started collaborating almost immediately. We were both also multidisciplinary- we enjoyed making work with photography, film, and paint. We’d go out in the streets of Brighton and film/photograph each other in front of graffiti or just sitting in a cafe- we worked so well together.

Five years later, we were sat in another coffee shop in Brighton with our friend Grace (also the designer of our amazing Brenda logo). We were talking about wanting to create something for women to speak truth, a platform for women’s emotional expression. We had both just come out of emotionally abusive relationships, and having felt silenced, we didn’t want other women to feel the same way we had. The 70’s became part of our inspiration because of the women’s liberation movement, and the style of the time- which we both adored.

Us at the Brenda issue 1 launch, 2018.

The name Brenda came naturally too, because it had been a nickname for me, and it also reminded us of a woman who could be absolutely anything and everything. We wanted Brenda to be for ALL women of every age and every background. Brenda felt like a perfect name because it could be an aunt who grew up in the 70’s, but it could also be me, you, your daughter or your mother- Brenda is ageless, she is all of us and we can all speak through her and express ourselves.

Joining together with Hayley to create Brenda has been a dream come true. We were both feeling so vulnerable when we started the magazine, but creating Brenda has helped us in so many ways, to speak our truth as women, and to help other women speak theirs. Our dream is to reach more women worldwide, to do workshops and help more women express themselves creatively. We’re so thankful to all the artists who have contributed so far, it’s been a dream connecting with you all and learning about so many different ways of creating art.

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