2023, paper made using mango bark from mother’s garden, pigment made from sugarcane ash.
Paper made with Kate Halling.
Writing is central to Simpson’s practice as a means of processing and articulating intergenerational trauma. In her poetry and spoken word performances, she explores tales of migration, ships and sugar that have been handed down to her through generations. Written in memory of her matrilineal ancestors in Natal, Simpson’s words conjure up images, sounds, smells and other sensations that she draws from her ancestors’ often turbulent and traumatic experiences.
Pinned to the wall, Simpson’s poems and fine linework are composed in a black pigment made from sugarcane mulch that she burns to ash and then grinds into powder. Her own delicate, hand-pulped paper incorporates leaves and bark fibres from the mango tree growing in her mother’s garden. Both in her use of materials and in the poems’ narratives – moving across oceans and between the past and present – Simpson interweaves personal histories with those of the women who came before her.
Text by Sarah Wall (PICA).