Naked truth: Joanna Stapff’s debut show Bloß, Bloom & Bliss opens at Bermuda Society of Arts on Friday evening. *Photo supplied
Naked truth: Joanna Stapff’s debut show Bloß, Bloom & Bliss opens at Bermuda Society of Arts on Friday evening. *Photo supplied

A new exhibition aims to lay bare the unifying aspects within our community.

Bermudian Joanna Stapff’s debut show Bloß, Bloom & Bliss brings together a series of paintings of nude women chosen regardless of their nationality.

The show opens on Friday in the Onion Gallery at the Bermuda Society of Arts.

Bloß is a German word pronounced “bloss” meaning naked or bare relating to the fact that this is a “bold and vivid showcase of female nude paintings.”

The word “Bloom” refers to the age of the subjects she has chosen — in their thirties  — an age Stapff interprets as “a time to finally unravel our pure abilities, deviate from expectations and flourish with vigour.”

Finally, the word “Bliss” was chosen torepresent how, having bloomed, we can find true happiness.

All of Stappf’s subjects have a connection to the island whether by being Bermudian or having moved here as an expatriate. She aims to explore the qualities and value that people bring reglardless of their origin while hoping to closed the perceived gap between locals and expats.

She explains: “There is a lot of division in our community and I wanted to use this show to promote unity and appreciation of others. I am Bermudian and proud to count both Bermudians and expats among my close friends. I know some wonderful people who all contribute so much to life in Bermuda. The idea behind the show was that I select some of these great women to model nude for me and lay bare who they are, their inspiring energy and what they stand for.

“It is also a celebration of diversity as these women are from all walks of life and backgrounds — they include a banker, an entrepreneur, a vet and a teacher.

“I took the unusual decision to include within the paintings artefacts that identify my subjects. Often nudes are anonymous and intangible, but I wanted the audience to be able to connect with the raw, sometimes hidden, person inside not to just see the body. These are not just naked women, they are all fantastic personalities.”

Stapff’s work is inspired by the likes of Lucian Freud, Andrew Wyeth and Egon Schiele. She is hosting a public reception at the gallery from 5pm to 7pm and there will be music by DJ Chelsea. Gosling’s has created a signature cocktail to “embody the theme”.

Bloß, Bloom & Bliss runs until June 30.