Aleisha Croker is an Auckland-based female artist exploring the realms of feminism, with a particular focus on societal stereotypes of feminine beauty and the widespread normalization of unrealistic ideals. Body image, insecurity, and the impact of societal pressures are at the forefront of her practice. Her work is particularly interesting for its investigation of the exponential growth of social media, and the consequences of how platforms such as Instagram and Facebook have narrowed our views of an accepted female form, and drastically warped perceptions of beauty.
Croker hopes to engage with these issues by exposing her audience to the female form in it’s rawest, most vulnerable states. In ways, you rarely find in public media. Inspired by artists such as Cindy Sherman, Barbara Kruger, and Sophie Calle, Croker uses her own body as the subject of her works. This action of self-reflection allows her to more honestly expose truly experienced insecurities, and evoke real empathy from her audience. Her intention is to reassert the presence of bodies marginalized by the rise of the #instamodel. She intends to bring to the fore a relatable and attainable body image for young women.
Her use of documentary-style photography and the traditionally ‘feminine’ process of cross-stitch, further emphasizes her connection to Sherman, Kruger, and Calle. By reconnecting with the conversations of these feminist advocates, Croker brings her work into a broader discussion regarding feminist theory. Her use of multimedia also showcases the variety of ways the female form can be expressed.
Ultimately, Croker wants women to feel secure. Like her predecessors, she aims to help women realise that we all have flaws and should not judge ourselves based on how we are continuously represented, or misrepresented in the wider media.