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Hattie Malcomson

The central subject of my work is the process of women empowerment in the context of contemporary society. I often use self-expression to source my ideas in order to convey universal female truths. Whilst exploring themes such as women’s sexuality, beauty standards and sex working, my paintings present powerful female characters with aggressively formed, almost caricature-style, ugly faces and confident poses. The characters exist in spaces owned by them in which the viewer has intruded. Despite this intrusion, they are comfortable with the viewer's presence, knowing that they are in control. Both the painting and the characters in fact want the viewers’ attention. 

I am trying to present a reclamation of the representation of a woman in art. Male artists from art history who have worked with their male gaze are often appropriated through the inclusion of 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, powerful women in control present in my paintings.  
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 some viewers. This, along with the attention seeking confident poses, brushstrokes and intense colours, and intimidating (sometimes seducing or mocking) female gaze at the viewer is an attempt to challenge and confront patriarchal society.

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