Poppy Mercedes Pearce (she / her)
Poppy Mercedes Pearce (b.1999, London, UK) makes work in relation to womanhood and nature. The work consists of predominantly large oil paintings on canvas and wood, other works include drawing and ceramics. Making pictures mainly from observation, drawn from experience in a woman’s body in this world, the work explores stories of sacred patterns and cycles of life and death. Narratives of motherhood and femininity are told, personal experience of the recent loss of her mother is woven into the pictures. They can be understood within the realms of ecofeminism, Jungianism, and spiritualism.
WASTE NOT WANT NOT
WASTE NOT WANT NOT is a body of work that reflects Poppy Mercedes Pearce’s profound interest in ecofeminism and Jungian theory. These frameworks provide a context for her exploration of naturalism, storytelling, and memory, allowing her to delve into complex themes with depth and nuance. The work manifests in various mediums of painting, drawing and ceramics.
She deals with the concept of grief and loss, both in a material and metaphorical sense. She examines patterns of life, society’s disregard for the environment and its consequences, drawing attention to issues of consumerism, overproduction, and the depletion of natural resources. The women depicted in the paintings embrace femininity, freedom and wildness. The themes of motherhood and womanhood are rendered in the work. The women, mermaids, selkies and fishermen dwell on the shores, on these ethereal landscapes. Through her work, she calls attention to the interconnectedness of human beings and the natural world, emphasising the truth of existing as part of the natural world rather than separate from it. In harmony with the vision of ecofeminism, she explores the parallels between the oppression of women and the exploitation of nature, seeking to challenge patriarchal systems that perpetuate both forms of exploitation.
Jungianism relates the work to the realm of memory and storytelling, as she believes that personal and collective memories shape our understanding of the world and influence our actions. By weaving threads of storytelling in her work, using archetypes and symbols, she invites viewers to reflect on their own experiences and connect with the narratives she presents. Through journeying with memories, she aims to nurture a deeper understanding of our relationship with nature and the importance of preserving our shared stories for future generations.
Central to this work is the connection between femininity and the sea. She recognises the sea as the primordial source of life, symbolising the original womb from which all life on Earth emerged. The artist weaves this elemental connection into their works, infusing them with a sense of feminine power, mystery, and resilience. By interweaving the narratives of mermaids and fishermen, the artist explores the complexities of human relationships with the natural world, highlighting the intimate ties between femininity, the sea, and the forces of creation.
Within the body of work, is a series she made called Selkie Skin, the artist searches the rich tapestry of myth and folklore, in response to the enchanting tale told in Sharon Blackie’s If Women Rose Rooted. These mythical beings, often depicted as seals in the water and humans on land, embody the essence of duality and transformation. Drawing from these stories, the artist weaves a visual narrative that encapsulates the fluid nature of identity, exploring themes of longing, belonging, and the interplay between the human and natural worlds.
Overall, WASTE NOT WANT NOT is a thought-provoking body of work that combines ecofeminist and Jungian perspectives to address environmental concerns, challenge systems of power, and evoke a sense of collective responsibility and sacred interdependence. The artist invites viewers to contemplate their role within the natural world, the power of storytelling and the enduring influence of memory.