Emma Davies is a multi-form artist whose practice comprises of performance, making, photography, film and sound works; working independently on studio projects or through participation with education and community groups.
Her artwork is informed by responses to emotional experiences and memories, relating the past to the now.
Emma carefully collects and curates’ items and objects, many without formal function. These scraps, with memory infused in them may be images or snippets of sound, pieces of paper, remnants of clothes or broken, worn out objects; all stored, queuing for the right time to be used. Imbedded in these chosen items is a pre-history, a story of their making, treasured since childhood or collected last week.
This museum of ephemera relates closely to Emma’s creative message, they have a key to her internal dialogue and a true relationship to the psychology of the time of their selection, a resonance or a bell that chimes with the right atmosphere. When selected, these items communicate on many levels; there are layers of symbolism, shape and colour, all laden with autobiographical references.
Performative drawing is an important element to Emma’s practice. This work is intuitively directed by reflections which are then choreographed into movements and gestures; transcribed and demonstrated to the audience through powerful charcoal drawings onto life size paper.
These large atmospheric drawings give off a strong message, a freedom of movement, experiential and emotional gestures. Charcoal is not part of the message here but the darkness of burnt wood and its stark contrast with white paper, referencing light and dark, the full range of life experiences we encounter.
“You Can’t Shake Hands with A Clenched Fist” is an ongoing participatory project, in which there is a purposeful ambiguity with a sharing of some of Emma’s own narrative, but is in turn infused with societal issues. Taking artwork into a community group and sharing ideas acts as a springboard for not only the artwork created by the group but then in turn, is fed back into Emma’s own practice.
Her current work of layered photographic images and gifs, explores emotionality and psychogeography, diarizing specific experiences or transient moments in time. These visceral images are boldly packed with snippets, personal timelines and blips in the day to day edited and set in a diary that is layered with political reference points. Emma places trust in the viewer to have a keen understanding of the political landscape we find ourselves in today. How we read the messages conveyed in all her of work can change depending on your stance and perceptions.
Layers are essential throughout every element of Emma’s practice: the layers in photographic images, political references, layers of movement and gesture, layers of selected objects. All are imbued with meaning.