Nina Smith

Looking at each other 1, 2021, Oil paint, MDF board, 100cm by 60cm

Image description: Oil painting on MDF board of multiple figures. 3 figures laying on top of each other. Colours of the skin are abstracted into greens yellows and oranges.

There is a difficulty, even as a woman painting other women, in being an active looker and reflecting upon my own gaze. How do we understand the desire to look and depict and the politics of the gaze? There’s my own ethics and conflict in being seen, and others conflict in concealing and revealing themselves to my gaze. How much do we allow ourselves to be seen? What is that feeling of being a woman and letting people see you or part of you? My practice encompasses an investigation into female sexuality and its conflict regarding the notions of public and private and concealment and revealment by looking at the contrast found between the openness of a nude and the closed tension created. Thus, my work creates a space for empowerment and expression of female sexuality, but also for expression of inner conflict surrounding identity and expression of self. Further, I am Interested in where figuration can become abstraction, and how abstraction can hide and obscure in a way that reflects peoples wants to be hidden. I also attempt to break this binary of the gaze by incorporating multiple figures. How does the gaze between them empower or hinder their expression?

Instagram: @ninalouiseart