in your dreams polly nor discreet muse

“It’s Called Art Mum, Look It Up” by Polly Nor


London based artist and social media sensation Polly Nor has put down her pencil and unleashed the inner-workings of her mind to the public, producing an interactive pop up exhibition entitledIt’s Called Art Mum, Look it Up! and I must say – it’s devilishly good!

Through her hand drawn illustrations Nor, noted for showcasing a succession of women abreast their demons, explicitly exposes the feminine self brutalisation by way of varying scenarios which admittedly are quite relatable. Most of the scenes take place within the bedroom of the subject, it is here  where the woman in question unveil’s her real self by “taking off” and “trying on” skin’s as if it were a garment. These images raise questions about identity and female sexuality through the state of dress and undress implying that who we want to be or come across as day by day is not merely garnered through our clothing choices, but also our mental states.


A Real Woman

The satirical images produced by Nor manages to reveal a lot about our current social media obsessed generation and our unashamed desire for outer perfection irrespective of our own mental and physical health without ever uttering a word. Her art demonstrates how the neglect of our own psychological and emotional well-being can lead to more pressing issues such as depression and anxiety and a teetering lament for self-love; all themes which feature heavily in her work especially her recurring motif, the devil.

in your dreams polly nor discreet muse

In Your Dreams

In some pieces Nor presents the devil as a figment of the women’s imagination, some showing her overcoming his advances by caging him, whereas others suggesting (psychological) defeat by laying in bed with him. Nor doesn’t stop there, in quite a few more pieces she literally demonstrates the women as “devil’s in disguise”, embodying the fiend himself – decaying cigarette in one hand, mobile phone in the other and on-trend cat eye sunglasses acting as blinkers. Her normalisation of the complexities of womanhood have garnered many conversations online amongst us internet-age millennial’s rejoicing in unison with statements such as ” Haha! I’ve done that!” or “Omg! That’s so me!

Because… *raises hand slowly…*




No Filter

When talking about why she thinks taboo topics such as mental health are so much easier to converse about through the popularity of memes and illustrations as opposed to in real life, Nor simply states,

“Personally, I find it really hard to translate emotions into words. I think a lot of people find that difficult, so I guess posting a meme, or a piece of art, is a way of sharing how you feel without actually saying anything that might make you feel too exposed or vulnerable. My best pieces definitely come from times that I have been going through my own personal struggles. I have always had really intense mood swings and at those times I don’t even have to think about what to draw, it kind of all just flows out of me.”

The exhibition itself, which is in collaboration with Red Bull Studios, features Nor‘s hand drawn prints dotted around the spacious art space, a sculpture of hanging “skin’s” and a interactive makeshift bedroom with a laptop showcasing her animations on loop.

With so many hidden messages embroiled within her work I could go on and on talking about the possible meanings and motif’s – it’s incredibly engaging.

It’s Called Art Mum, Look it up!” is definitely an exhibition not to be missed and a necessary yet sardonic talking point with friends; making the topics of self-love, feminine sexuality and mental health more commonplace – one illustrated nude selfie at a time.


Too Good For You

Make sure you check it out!

Red Bull Presents ‘It’s Called Art Mum, Look It Up’ is on from 18th-22nd August at Protein Studios.