Sex Worker painting by Hattie Malcolmson

Graduates 2020: Hattie Malcomson-Lifford: Fine Art Painting

“The central subject of my practice is the process of women empowerment in the context of contemporary society.”

Tell us a bit about your work

“Whilst exploring themes of women’s sexuality, pressures of beauty, sex working, coronavirus and loneliness, my paintings present female characters with aggressively formed, caricature-style, ugly faces and confident poses. I am interested in creating contradicting feelings of attraction and repulsion in the viewer and testing the aesthetic boundaries of taste. I also want to evoke feelings of awkwardness and discomfort in the viewer, particularly for the male gaze. This, along with the attention seeking confident poses, brushstrokes and vivid colours and intimidating (sometimes seducing or mocking) female gaze at the viewer is an attempt to challenge and confront patriarchal society.

I often appropriate artists from art history who have worked with the male gaze, by including reminiscent compositions, still lives, poses, patterns etc. as a tool to remind the viewer of the objectification of women within art history and to create a juxtaposition of this and the representation of strong women in control present in my paintings.

Although most of my paintings are not self-portraits, each one I feel carries an element of myself, or the self I believe I could be. The paintings have been a part of my personal process of self-empowerment.”

How have you found studying Fine Art Painting at Brighton?

“I have loved my time at Brighton. I have found the course an inspiring and warm environment to develop my practice with constant encouragement always present. Brighton itself is also an incredibly inspiring place to live and it feels as if creativity is all around you within the city and the people in it.”

What are your plans for the future?

“Originally, I planned to go travelling for a while before coming back to England to continue my practice. However, due to the pandemic this will have to be postponed. I am excited to experiment with my new ideas and see how my practice develops and plan on taking part in exhibitions when these can be taken place.”

See Hattie’s work in the Graduate Show 2020

Follow Hattie on Instagram @hattiemalcomson_art

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