Women and the demons of Polly Nor

London illustrator Polly Nor uses black humour and cynicism in her drawings. Her scenes are dotted with devils, demons and naked women, all represented in her unique style. After the closing of her exhibition at London’s Protein Studios, it is time to take a closer look at her strange world.

Polly Nor is a rising artist

Polly Nor is a freelance illustrator who lives in North London. After a year of graphic design at the London College of Communication, she studied illustration at Loughborough University. She graduated in 2011. She has previously worked for Bloomsbury, Dazed Digital, Hunger TV, Doc Martens and Complex Magazine.

“It’s Called Art Mum, Look It Up” is her latest success

Her recent exhibition at the London-based Protein Studio, entitled “It’s Called Art Mum, Look It Up” in early August provided examples of both the humour and sincerity of Nor’s work. The strange “Shedding Skins” is a collection of latex skins made by the artist. She suggests the themes of her illustrations, in which the women reject and put on different skins.

Woman’s relation to her demons

After her first solo, “Sorry Grandma: An Exhibition of Obscene Illustrations” in 2015, she left her mark on devils-in-human-skins. In the head and under the blows of satirical pencils of the illustrator, only our human appearance connects us with the condition that is ours, but otherwise we look rather like a red, naked, two-horned devil always with a little perverse smile. Polly Nor often imagines her demons and women in two very distinct universes: the one of the apartment (a bedroom or the bathroom) and the forest. These two universes can be related as they are, metaphorically or not, the evocation of a certain intimacy or isolation. Two places where only inner thoughts are revealed, far from the obstruction of the outside world.

Sex is omnipresent

Inspired by Japanese erotic mangas, sex is omnipresent in the iconographic universe of Polly Nor. She interferes in this relationship between women and this demonic body, a metaphor for our fears, our fantasies, our frustrations, our desires. In short, a summary of the stuff that is difficult to manage most of the time and that is often preferred to be buried, but which resurfaces sooner or later.

Men are non-existent

Indeed, in the drawings of Polly Nor, man is unseen. She is rather interested in women and to her relation to this demonic double. A modern, imperfect, half-naked woman, who takes selfies, pinned the slogan “Black lives matter” in her room. Drawings that have a certain vocation to awaken at a moment or another a sense of identification.

Polly Nor’s future is bright

Nor explains that her work puts a “strong emphasis on female sexuality, relationships and emotional instability. She says she “creates erotic and cultural satire for all the perverse addicts of the net.” For the future, Polly Nor has a lot of projects coming up that cross over many genres. She’ll dabble in the fashion industry to transform her art into clothes. She’ll contribute the illustration of a book for the Bloomsbury editions, as well as another solo exhibition coming shortly!

h/t: Dazed Digital
Also available on Zyne.ca