Arvida Byström, 22, is proud to flash her underarm hair. This much you can glean from her photographic output on tumblr & co, as well as the fact that she has no qualms about immortalising her naked body on the internet. Being a model at the same time as an artist has not always worked to the advantage of the young Swede, who has been contributing to the local art scene with her feminist activism and endearing selfie aesthetics ever since she moved to London. Not allowing herself to be pigeonholed by taking on as many roles as possible, not just on her own, but also in various collaborations, has proved a very successful strategy so far. Here she tells us of three projects that she is currently supporting and helping to establish in her new hometown London.

In many shoots you are both photographer and model/subject matter. What are the (dis-)advantages? I’ve always done self-portraits, since I got my first camera at the age of 12. The reason I like it: I’m pretty much an introvert, so I like working alone. It’s pretty easy to get the photos right cause I don’t have to try to explain the concept to anyone. The cons are that it annoys me sometimes that people are valuing my modelling higher than my photography.

How did the internet influence your creative process – what are your favourite online places and things to do in internet wonderland? Tumblr is rad. It feels like it really helped me get together visuals that I like and that interest me. You just take bits and pieces here and there. I started a photo blog when I was 16, and that’s how I started to get jobs. I’m really not the person talking about my creative work in real life with people I don’t know. So for me having that base for people to see it, that’s just really cool. As well as all the amazing cool people I met through internet.

Arvida on two of her current projects: 

GAL SPACE:   «Gal is a gallery based in East London where what we know as girly will be uncoded. With a pink floor, this is what the artists and visitors have to adapt their art or mind to. Newly opened and yet to be defined, we know that when a gal grows up post 2K the internet is hard to escape. Just as the www that raised us, we are still happy to announce this physical space ‹away from keyboard›»




GIRLS GET BUSY: «‚Girls Get Busy’ is a feministic zine run by my friend Beth Siveyer. It‘s built on submissions and has been running for quite a while.»