Nicola Simpkin-Hill is a contemporary art photographer based in Tamaki Makaurau Auckland. She graduated with a Master of Fine Arts degree from the Elam School of Fine Arts, the University of Auckland in 2018, and has exhibited across Aotearoa New Zealand.
Her ongoing Adaptations photography project seeks to raise awareness of the lived experience of largely unseen and unheard physically disabled communities in Aotearoa through a forensic yet open-ended photographic investigation of adapted, fabricated, and customized objects used to assist its members in their daily lives.
Her approach to this field of research is grounded in her personal experience of disability as the mother of a daughter in her early 20s with both cerebral palsy and ADHD conditions. As such, she has an intimate understanding of the physical, social, economic, political, and personal challenges of what she describes as ‘the disability landscape’. Simpkin-Hill advocates for a deeper understanding of the lived experience of these communities, and further inclusion of their voices and perspectives in wider society.
The pilot Adaptations Photography Project exhibition was held at Studio One Toi Tū as part of the 2022 Auckland Festival of Photography. Further exhibitions, publications, and a collective art group are planned.