The Exchange of Small Gifts: Elspeth Vince
As a female artist, she reclaims representation for women that Western culture has long ceded to male genius and patriarchal perspectives, and celebrates self-intimacy. Through her work, she experiments with tenderness and sexuality without being reduced to a single label or stereotype, offering a new perspective and re-authorship to highlight how notions of gender are imbued on the trope of the unclothed body.
“The lens I want to look through is taking into consideration all the history of the female artist; the ‘overly emotional female’ and how knowing this, I can communicate tenderness and even sexuality without it being labelled as a single thing; ‘the mother’ or ‘the whore’ trying to work out a disturbing, erotic space for her to sit in without the ownness being on the individual. The scrutiny on the female artist, it’s not new, but I want to experiment with how playing with scale changes this, for example; how does playing with a larger scale of an intimate moment change it from soft and voyeuristic into a more alpha, commanding image? Or does it increase the feeling of voyeurism?” (Vince, 2023)
Vince's work is a reflection of the human experience, exploring the interplay between light and shadow to symbolise the future and the past, hope and despair, and life and death. The glowing skin in her paintings represents the transference of energy and sentiment, emphasising the power of visual communication and the visceral experience of touch.
With her practice as her vehicle, Vince delves into the power of touch and the memories that our hands hold, tracing the journey of connection. This body of work is especially poignant, as it comes in the wake of Vince’s recent loss of her mother, and serves as a gentle acknowledgement to the effervescence of that profound impact.
In Sacred Little Hands (2023) Vince explores the theme of intimacy, depicting two hands against a dark background, illuminated by a warm glow upon contact. The composition is minimalistic yet impactful, emphasising the power of touch and the human need for connection.
In Still Together (2023) Vince delves into the complex relationship between the mind and body, depicting a figure with a fragmented body, symbolising the disconnection between our physical and emotional selves. The use of colour and light is masterful, drawing the viewer's eye towards the focal point and inviting contemplation.
Elspeth Vince is a British artist born in 1993 and currently based in London. She received her BA in Fine Art: Printmaking from Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton in 2014. Her work has been featured in exhibitions such as Idle Thoughts at Soho Revue in London, How to Save a Life Drawing at Redchurch Street in London, and Together/Somewhere by Visionary Projects x Art City Works online. She recently completed the Turps Banana CC Course. With recent features in It's Nice That and the Gucci x Hypebeast 'New Wave Art' Campaign (2022), Vince cements her status as a rising star in the art world.
The Exchange of Small Gifts will be on display from 20th May 2023 to 2nd July 2023.
Text by Pristine Nael
Elspeth Vince, Still Alone, 2023
Elspeth Vince, Joy & Heartbreak I (Diptych), 2023
Elspeth Vince, Joy & Heartbreak II (Diptych), 2023
Elspeth Vince, Sacred Little Hands, 2023
Elspeth Vince, All Parts Being Equal, 2023
Elspeth Vince, In My Mother's Garden, 2023
Elspeth Vince, Still Together, 2023
Elspeth Vince, The Aches, 2023
Elspeth Vince, A Room of One's Own, 2023