The female gaze from a Third World perspective in a First World setting
Eloise has spent the last fourteen years living in South Africa, a country where women’s issues are seen as a woman’s issue. In her new body of work, she has dug deeper into her own female experience and how she can further reflect on her emotions and conscious and unconscious subtleties of her experience in Third World country.
How does the female gaze from a Third world perspective change in a First World Setting? Eloise constantly finds herself comparing her experience living in Pretoria and Johannesburg to the almost naïve existence of living in the United Kingdom, speaking to women from South Africa who are incredibly open and honest about their experiences of unease, fear, and hyper-awareness have faced because they are women in a country where Femicide and GBV rates are the highest in the world. She then superimposes these feelings onto images of young women in the UK, who, by Eloise's perception lead an unaware existence of the realities of womanhood. By manipulating her subject's subtleties such as colour and exposure, she changes the dialogue from just being an image of a First-World experience, to being a reality of a Third-World experience.
After a recent experience of a man assaulting her while walking home one night in Plymouth, UK, Eloise created three works to directly address the feeling of panic and discomfort she felt on the night, the first two works being questions the assaulter asked her, "You Alone?" and, " What's Your Name?" the third painting "The Call" being about the aftermath, coming home at 12 AM, locking the bedroom door then calling her parents. Then being told that going to the police would not help because being grabbed isn't being harmed. Coming to a firm conclusion that the lack of respect for women and their bodies is not a just third world problem but a societal problem that all countries face.
This gallery is a compilation of eloise schoeman's paintings from 2021 - Current
En Route series
For years public transport was a huge part of Eloise's life, almost a stamp of independence for her, a recently "graduated" high schooler from a farm town now entering city life as a university student. She would spend 3 hours every day on trains or busses; she would come into contact with many faces on repeat. Countless brief moments where she would be sharing the same space with someone where they were in close proximity yet it was incredibly impersonal. The people you sit with on the bus everyday that you have eye contact with yet never talk to.
For years she would take photos of people in and around the trains, busses, stations - in a vague attempt to document these people that she was sharing an incredibly brief, mundane experiences with - the act of commuting. Taking inspiration from street photography and artists like Justin Jamison, Vivian Mayer and many other photographers; looking at the colours and hues that were used in 90s underground photography. This vivid and rare lighting that you would only see momentarily and tried to emulate it through her work.
During the Covid-19 Pandemic Eloise started to look at the changes in public transport; the changing in commuters body language; the newfound hyper-awareness of surroundings and the change from crowded scenes to solitude and isolated moments due to social distancing.
This gallery is a compilation of eloise schoeman's paintings from 2018 - 2021
This gallery is a compilation of eloise schoeman's self-portraits from 2017 - 2021
Of artist eloise schoeman.