Safe Space

What does a ‘safe space’ mean to you? To multidisciplinary artist Johanna Tagada Hoffbeck, it is the embodiment of intimacy passed back and forth in meaningful conversation with a like-minded person. It’s a whispered confession, or a common concern; it’s temporal and spatial; at once ephemeral and everlasting.

In a new body of painterly works dedicated to precisely this moment of magic, Tagada Hoffbeck depicts the coming-together of women to share tea, thoughts, ideas and energy. Through soft strokes and evocative colour palettes, she conjures the essence of her closest friends and collaborators, preserving them in an instance of power and vulnerability.
Here, these closely cropped painted works are accompanied by a series of corresponding three-minute audio monologues, remembered and narrated by their subjects, to intimate effect. They touch on stories of love, life, decision-making and shared stumbling-blocks. Linguistically and stylistically ‘imperfect’ – as, indeed, we all are – these poignant, powerful pieces pay tribute to a series of precious moments. The canvas becomes a new safe space – and here, all are welcome.

Text by Maisie Skidmore.
Photographs by Kenji Kagawa - Nidi Gallery.