Half of the proceeds from Eve Ackroyd’s new series, which is available to buy from today, will go towards supporting Planned Parenthood
There’s something about the nature of Eve Ackroyd’s latest series of paintings that straddles the realm between dream and waking life. Calm, ethereal figures float above a muted melancholic palette. Charged muddy brushstrokes meet and overflow from their fluid body outlines, to create moments of tension and emotional expanse. The Brooklyn-based artist’s works bring to mind the idea of ‘body awareness’, a term coined by Austrian painter Maria Lassnig to refer to an approach to painting self-portraits that depicted bodily sensations. Both artists, it seems, are concerned with bridging the inner and outer selves with their paintings.
Inspired by pre-Columbian and Babylonian goddesses, Ackroyd’s new series of intimate paintings further explores two key themes in her work: gender and desire. They are a continuation of a set of paintings she put up for sale around the time the American election results came out last year. Keenly aware that Planned Parenthood would soon be under threat, Ackroyd promised to donate 50% of proceeds from the works to the non-profit organisation.
Today, as her new series goes on sale, the second to support Planned Parenthood, we catch up with Ackroyd to learn more about the role of sculpture in her work, painting with an acute physical sense, and the importance of creating political art.
On where the idea for the paintings for Planned Parenthood came from…
“The idea came when I was reading a book by Doris Lessing, called The Cleft, which was written not long before she passed away. In the book, she writes about the beginnings of humanity and imagines it as being entirely female. These women were half-sea creatures who could procreate and lived harmoniously. Later in the book, a male child is born and they’re horrified and don’t know what to do. But I loved the idea of a world that was totally female – not that it’s what I want – but it’s lovely to think of a society with zero threat that could live in this harmonious space and calm existence.”