Artist talk with Sara Riccardi at Salford Museum and Art Gallery

Thoroughly enjoyed guiding the public through my solo show “Beyond the Linear” with the brilliant art historian Sara Riccardi of Art Across the other evening. It was wonderful to see everyone engaging with my practice and making connections between the variety of processes I use.

For this event, Sara and I decided to approach the talk in a slightly unusual way. The audience were called upon to determine points of focus through vigorous discussion. This informed the path we took around the exhibition and as a result the talk could have taken several different routes; it all depended on the audience’s perceptions of the work on display. This format was conceived by observing my practice as a whole; responding to my processes, identifying interwoven concepts and exploring my working methods.

Thank you very much to Sara for her fascinating historical insights and Steven Heaton for documenting the event (all photos appear courtesy of him).

Coming soon… Beyond the Linear – Artist Talk with Sara Riccardi

Not long until the talk for my solo show (due to take place at Salford Museum and Art Gallery on the 20th February, 6.30-7.45pm to coincide with my show “Beyond the Linear”). This will be a talk with a difference!

Developed in collaboration with Sara Riccardi of Art Across, prepare yourself for a guided, interactive experience lead entirely by your engagement with the works on display. We look forward to welcoming you there!

Art Across – In Conversation at Material Matters

The video taken at Saul Hay Gallery during the “In Conversation” event is now available online! Featuring (from left to right): Susan Gunn, Rachel Grimshaw, myself, Sara Riccardi, Jane Fairhurst, Tracey Eastham and Diana Terry.

All footage was shot by Michela Riccardi of Art Across.


Material Matters in Conversation

A few photographs from the Material Matters in conversation event held at Saul Hay Gallery on 15th September. The talk was hosted by art historian Sara Riccardi and involved six of the exhibiting artists (Susan Gunn, Rachel Grimshaw, Jane Fairhurst, Tracey Eastham, Diana Terry and me). A thoroughly enjoyable evening with plenty to ponder from the artists involved and the insightful commentary delivered by Sara reflecting on artistic practice in historical context. Look forward to more Art Across events in the future!

All images appear courtesy of Art Across apart from 3-4 (courtesy of Saul Hay Gallery) and 11-12 (courtesy of Helena Denholm).

Material Matters and Art Across in conversation

An invitation to join us for Material Matters and Art Across in conversation at Saul Hay Gallery on 15th September, 18:30-20:30…

The discussion will be led by founder of the Art Across project and art historian Sara Riccardi and involves six of the exhibiting artists (myself included). Tickets for this special event are available on the Art Across website.

Interview with Creative Industries Trafford and transcript of the speech I gave at the Waterside Open

The interview conducted by Richard Evans at Creative Industries Trafford has been put up on their site along with the speech I gave at the Waterside Open 2012.

Here are the questions he asked me and my responses:

RE (Richard Evans): What led you to become a book artist? What single event, in your life, prompted your passion to work in this area?

EL (Emma Lloyd): The decision to use books in my recent work has been part of a natural progression within my practice. Through exploration of paint I became interested in layering autographic techniques accessible through printmaking and photography. Subsequently I began to consider the depth that was developing within the surface of my pieces.

For that reason I would be more inclined to describe myself as an artist currently using books. I view materials as an important component that can be utilised, assisting the reading of my themes.

RE: What do you find inspires you in your creations and stimulates your creativity?

EL: I draw inspiration from our collective failure to transcend our own sphere of knowledge. Books are the perfect vehicle for exploring this mystery of subjectivity. The physical make-up, written word and title of the book serve as something neutral: the premise on which a subjective interpretation (or image) is formed.

RE: What is your experience as an artist living and working in Trafford? What makes you stay here over, say, moving to London or another bigger centre?

EL: Trafford offers a lot to artists; not only in its proximity to a few major cities, but in the networks encouraged through organisations such as Creative Industries.

Engaging with your environment is a key part of the creative process, ideas evolving in certain ways as a result. Whilst living in remote areas my concepts meditated nature. Since moving to Trafford my work has reflected human concerns: mortality, perceptions, notions of self and ‘belonging’.

As we become more connected than we have ever been, art is increasingly accessible in any location. Where you are is perhaps not as important as it once was.

RE: How has your work been acknowledged and celebrated?

EL: I am fortunate to have been given the opportunity to display work in various locations and received recognition for different aspects of my practice. Some recent highlights include: Best in Trafford 2010, Third Prize in Los Angeles for Fabrik Magazine’s 2011 competition, shortlisted in Art of Giving at the Saatchi gallery 2010, Northern Artist Prize 2009 and Best Installation 2010 at the National Open Art Competition, Chichester.

RE: What future projects do you have in the creative pipeline? How do you see your work developing in the future?

EL: My latest body of work “Tameidiau Ohona’i” (Fragments of Me), considers language and how the written word can become a barrier. English, Welsh and visual language are dissected and re-formed; unified through processing. As they retain some of their underlying structure there is a degree of familiarity with what is produced, yet the symbols and shapes we see before us are alien.

RE: What challenges have you faced that you feel are unique to working as a book artist?

EL: Books are all unique in regards to their binding and the paper used. This is a challenge when you are trying to push them to adopt un-natural positions.

Another difficulty can be how your medium is perceived- the classic art or craft debate. Is “craft” a term for something purely visual? Can it be conceptual? Through categorisation do we limit our understanding by discounting other readings?

RE: What process do you go through when selecting books for your work? Do certain books inspire and shape the work you create?

EL: Any decisions regarding methods and materials are preceded by philosophical inception. Once I have a design, I begin selecting titles that will assist the reading of the piece. Paper has to be of a good quality and bound in a hard cover with spine still intact so that it can take the abuse!

RE: Your comments about the civilised world being inconceivable without paper are very interesting. What are your thoughts on digitisation of the arts? Are we in danger of becoming a culture without artefacts – eg: if music and books become digitised, what is left behind for future generations?

EL: Digitalisation of the arts is necessary for its evolution. Our world includes more technology, therefore it is natural for art to respond to and reflect this. However, the more digitised we become, the more precious physical artefacts will be. I believe this may encourage the collection of such things. As a direct result, I imagine that books will accrue significance as a material.

For me, the digital feels somewhat removed. Things often stripped down to their most simplistic form; music becoming just sound and a book only words. The physical interaction you once had was part of the experience. The feel, the act of holding and leafing through pages of album artwork or books is a component of engagement. I feel that many artists look for tactile qualities. For this reason I believe that art will always be produced in both analogue and digital forms.