The works in the Prime State series question if humans have evolved or devolved emotionally from our primitive origins and how we will progress in the future. The paintings and sculptures in this series explore the relationships between the refined and the primitive, the physical and the spiritual, and the influences of our collective past on present behaviour.
Influenced by the years spent studying in Florence, Emma’s work combines classical techniques inspired by the colourful gilded frescoes of Biblical scenes that adorn the city, with a contemporary questioning of spirituality versus religion. Her work reflects an inner drive to connect with the essence of our innate longing to exist, create, dance and inspire.
bronze, clear resin, glass vitrine; 30 x 30 x 40 cm; 2014
Echo pays homage to Darwinism and looks at our primordial animal instinct to acquire, conquer, reproduce and self-destruct. It also reflects on the Buddhist teaching of moderation in order to suppress our monkey mind and free ourselves from our destructive tendencies. The work is displayed under a glass vitrine like a curiosity in a museum.
oil on canvas, gold and aluminium leaf, 140 x 150 cm; 2014
Dancers (iii) is one of a series of ‘Dancers’. In these works the monkeys’ gold halos highlight the notion of ‘free spirits’ and the spiritual essence in primitive thought. In the dancer series chimps both mock and imitate the regimented and rehearsed ballet dancers. These works compare our finesse to the wilder, more innate feelings that can also take over from rational thought. This work looks at the art of expression and suppression and its role in the creative practice.
oil on canvas, mixed materials, 150 x 160 cm; 2014
The Lovers painting was Emma’s first work in the puppeteer series. The male reaches out to the girl leaning towards him in a moment before they embrace. The puppeteering Chimps are thoughtful whilst watching their playful scene unfold with intent. The sainted monkeys represent the spiritual essence of the animal spirit within us and the meditative state of arousal.