Edie Simpkins

My practice investigates the female experience through portraiture and confronts systemic patriarchal power structures of looking. If to be looked at is be dehumanised and shamed, as suggested by Jean-Paul Sartre and Laura Mulvey, then I intend to expose how it feels to be minimised to such an object. Experimenting with expressive modes of painting, I strive to both empower and validate women’s experiences from the biographical lens of a female artist, capturing both the vulnerability and resilience of women. 

The ‘Walking Home’ series depicts the fears and vulnerabilities experienced as a woman walking alone at night. Following the tragic murder of Sarah Everard in 2021, these pieces reflect the ongoing fears experienced by women regarding their safety. The series uses expressive techniques in a way that is acts to conveys both the internal anxiety and fear of the subject, but also external movement of walking, wind or rain. The fluidity and grit of the mediums charcoal and ink help in creating such dynamism through distinct mark-making. The push and pull of layers create depth, with oil painting bringing life particularly drawing attention back to the eyes. These elements combined intend to resonate with the female viewer, validating this fear that is often minimised. This means of validating women’s experiences also intends to spark hope, with pieces such as ‘Fleabag’, acting as an exhibition of female power and resilience. She, as symbolic of the agency of women in contemporary society, remind us of our courage to take up space.  
My film pages