Emma graduated from MA Fine Art in 2014. While she was studying she received the Helen Scott Lidgett Studio Award with Acme and a scholarship from the South Square Trust.
My installations are made from low value everyday objects, deliberately selected and assembled to remind the viewer of the expected gestural actions inherent in all of them. The sum of the installations parts contain a sense of theatre as the objects, such as mops, have a simplicity of purpose yet when combined with inanimate and unexpected objects many over rhetorical gestures are created. There is poverty to the collective image taken from my interest in found objects, from wax to lipstick, rolling pin to bowl to sieve mops and Styrofoam, roller velvet bamboo. Then there is the treatment: housework; exotic dance; fearful ritual; the all seeing eye.
My point of departure comes from everyday interactions these may be verbal or non verbal. For example, a shopkeeper made a remark to me after I purchased some of the above items, "Something tells me that you will spend the afternoon in the kitchen baking a cake."
What is common in all my work is a re-mediating of the gestures (such as this passing comment and the repertoire of poses seen in fashion photography) within social relationships. The brevity of the expression in both isn’t the issue; it is the limitation, expectation and core inflexibility of the gestures themselves that I unpick. The mundane often closes down situations and overwhelms us with its certainty.
I set out to make art that looks for this often-muted uncertainty by questioning the expectancy for tangible objects to ground us in daily routine.
To realise my intentions for my art practice, both in terms of developing an understanding of my situation within the conversations of art works today and to make these associations physical realities. I think it is common to feel at the brink of something at the end of BA study, it took me a while before I applied to postgraduate study to want to talk about what I was currently engaged in rather than where I hoped to be. I think conversations at postgraduate level can help you identify these topics for debate within your practice and get you to where you want to be faster.
I found the course encouraged me to move, each time you change direction you have to make a decision. There is a lot happening at CSM in terms of lectures to attend, facilities to use, workshops, you learn to find your own route and prioritise.
Each time I use a workshop, whether it was the ceramic studio, wood workshop, print room or green screen I would feel it was a collaboration of sorts. I love talking to technicians with baffling material intelligence.
There were additional academic support sessions available from staff who are currently engaged in research and practicing artists. I'm not sure that everyone knew what a steal these bookable hours were.
Central Saint Martins appealed to me as it seemed really vibrant, outward looking, pushing to the future and I knew it drew in ambitious and creative minds from all over the world from many different creative disciplines.
The course can require a lot of energy and motivation, like most things it is what you make of it.
People like to talk about the amazing building and facilities but really its the energy of the staff and students that make it. Having so many creative minds open to development under one roof gives a kind of contagious ambitious drive.
I'd like to find my feet. I think others are too, perhaps stomping, running, tip toeing, drunken stumbling.
It's unavoidable with increasing fees and corporate pressure to ask about the future of art school and what it is not. Instead turn to think about what art school is, allow yourself the freedom to contextualise and reflect on fixed beliefs. As a home student I was lucky to receive financial support, money is always a constraint but it doesn't need to be an impenetrable barrier.