Trigger Warning: This page may contain information relating to someone's gender inequitable experiences including suicides. This may be triggering to readers with similar experiences.

This submission is part of the Expressions of Gender Equity art project - a 2021 International Women's Day initiative. We thank all artists who responded to our artistic briefs and are honoured to showcase their work.

Artist Statement

In response to the art brief:

A doctor very recently asked me if I still believed women should be in the Army after I told him I had PTSD. He asked me this question while smirking. He did not believe women belonged in the Army. I was left to defend my service and other female soldiers. I told him that we make great soldiers.  He did not stop there. This was an appointment with hell. I wondered afterwards, had I been a male, would he have disrespected something that I was so proud of. My Army service. My service to my country.

His words triggered me, his words broke me. He was someone with authority, someone in power, someone I was supposed to feel safe around.

Art Brief 

Nyulla Safi

Before the Suicide, 2021

Australia | Painting


About the Artist:

Nyulla is an ex Soldier, an Army Veteran with PTSD who has only been painting since July 2019. She has never learnt to paint or draw. She follows her heart and hand allowing them the freedom to express her emotions.

She works intuitively and is surprised by what appears as her hands move and her mind is immersed in the moment. This is a place where she can be perfectly happy; a place for reflection; her own interior landscape.

She allows her hand to move freely with the brush or the canvas knife guided by her feelings. She does not apply restrictions on herself, whether how traditionally one should mix colours or which strokes to use etc.. she just paints. In a sense she enjoys not knowing painting rules.

Nyulla has been published in three art books in London.