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STAY SOFT by Hannelore Leisek and Asli Umut is an intimate contemplation on the female gaze and experience. It contains artworks by eight female artists, sharing their own personal understanding of what ‘Stay Soft’ means to them.


The visual expressions are accompanied by six stream of consciousness style narratives developed from multiple anonymous conversations that were recorded between 2020 and 2021. The stories in STAY SOFT engage with personal ideas of beauty, body image, gender bias, prejudice, patriarchy and how we fundamentally occupy our own space, physiologically.


The project was born out of an interest to investigate what it means to embody the female space.


The 58 page self-designed and self-published book printed by exwhyzed, has been released as an edition of 250.


Contributing Artists

Asli Umut is a London based filmmaker and photographer. Her work gravitates towards underrepresented communities, issues surrounding gender, sexuality and trauma. Combining art, culture, travel and music through visual storytelling, Umut is passionate about sharing the perspectives of people through journalistic vignettes, observational portraits and poetic documentaries.

Beatriz Maués is a stylist and archivist. She was born in São Paulo (1986) and moved away at 19 to live in Europe and North America. It was adapting to new cultures without losing connection to the source that inspired this work. Beatriz is currently based in New York.

Erin Green is a Make up artist currently living in London. Hailing from Canada originally, she was previously based in New York City. Her work has appeared in Dazed Beauty, Twin Magazine, Altered States and Rave Zine amongst many others and has been working on campaigns for Rag and Bone and Browns.

Feben Vemmenby is an artist and designer based in London. A recent graduate of Central Saint Martins, where she completed MA Fashion as an Isabella Blow scholar, her work reclaims feelings of displacement. Feben is part of NEWGEN 2021 


Lucy Webster is a Cosmetic artist/ set designer based in London originally from Yorkshire. In her work she is experimenting with textures and still life. Some of her clients include YSL, Byredo, Charlotte Tilbury, Estēe Lauder and Elemis. 


Meltem Sahin is an illustrator/ animator from Marmaris, a small sea town in Turkey. In 2015, she has been awarded with MICA Graduate Research Development Grant to go further on her projects that incorporate electronics and Arduino. Recently, the book that she illustrated, P is for Pussy, got successful media appearances including Huffington Post, Bitch Media, DesignTAXI and BuzzFeed.


Nilufer Kocabas is a designer of spaces and mover. She was born in Turkey but has lived in London for the past 13 years. She loves exploring the boundaries of the body, mind and creativity. She is currently working on interior design projects and teaching yoga.

Launch and Exhibition

STAY SOFT was launched on Saturday the 26th of February 2022 and expressed through Installation at Equivalentbehaviour. The exhibition was produced by Hannelore Leisek and designed in collaboration with Nilufer Kocabas.

Equivalentbehaviour is a recently established platform based in North London. It is a Space dedicated to Artists, Photographers, Musicians and Makers. Home to a Photographic Scanning Suite and Photography Studio, the Space offers workshops, HiRes Scanning Services, and has a carefully Curated Programme of live performances and events.

Stay Soft Equivalentbehaviour
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