Artwork Archive: Razz Girls


I’ve created so many versions of this scene I’ve lost count.

But the one pictured here, made in 2014-15, was the very first. I’ve since changed the outfits, the hair colours and the accessories countless times, but always stuck with the white court shoes.

I’d like to say I made the same playful decision about the skin tones, but that is in fact a haunting lack of skill I’ll probably never shake off. I’ve never been able to get those legs to look natural in all my attempts.

The most recent incarnation of the image was a Lockdown stitchwork project in which the three care-free women on a night out ended up on the front of an old white T-shirt.

The original was a spotted scene, quickly photographed, on a typical Saturday-night out in Brighton. But it really could be anywhere in the UK. The term “out on the razz” is how the women have chosen to enjoy themselves (razz is short for razzle), which explains the title.

The anonymity of the three joy-seekers is one of the picture’s most powerful qualities. Plus the strong triangle of support the staggering women have fallen naturally into, a sort of driving rugby maul fuelled on estrogen and alcohol.

I chose not to add a background to the artwork. The blankness seemed somehow to hint at an intrepid journey to infinity and beyond. In one version I tried plain black, and a dark point of convergence in the distance seemed to jump out. But with no actual destination in sight (or deliberate route), the women plough their own way in into who knows where and god knows what.

I shall probably repeat this picture for many years to come. I never tire of its composition and content, and will forever be happy to sit down and wonder what happened after this one tiny moment in their lives.

More arts & crafts stories.

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