REVIEW: Wild Women in the Woods
AMONGST the heat, the noise, and the excitement of a private view it is sometimes difficult to fully appreciate what it is you are there to see.
When it came to the opening of Nikki Simpson’s new show at the Lansdown Gallery, I was determined not to let anything distract me as this was a project that had caught my interest on seeing the flyer a few days before.
Wild Women in the Woods is a series of visually stunning prints that evokes the emotional relationship between several women and their chosen surroundings.
Simpson photographed these women in places that they were familiar with, a place where they go to recharge or connect. Here the subjects were invited to move, flow and interact with the environment. Throughout this process, Simpson photographed the women and the resulting images encapsulate a moment in time that portrays an interaction between the soul of a woman and the spirit of the earth.
Although many may be used to observing the classic black and white nude image, photographic projects of this kind are often reserved, refined and sometimes too tenuous in their quest to emote the viewer.
In this work those clichés are subdued, almost nonexistent and a dreamlike self-confessional performance piece shines through with each frame. The subject matter is free and organic yet to describe these relationships would be an intricate and detailed undertaking. It becomes apparent that what may be obvious in our conscious may be more complex to impart.
One thing that is important to remember is that photography is a powerful medium, unlike any other. Photographs in their simplest form are a representation of truth. In this project Simpson has removed any suggestive barriers and has compiled a body of work that is successful in allowing the viewer to fully explore the relationship between themselves and the image and the subject and their environment.
Interpretation of emotion is what all artists ultimately strive to achieve and with such thought provoking work, Nikki Simpson is a wild woman on the road to success.
Wild Women in the Woods runs until Sunday, March 3, at the Lansdown Gallery. The work will also feature in the SITE 13 Festival at Ruskin Mill gallery in May.