Talk at Manchester Art Gallery as part of Manifest Arts

Really lovely to be invited to speak and share slides of my work at Manifest Calling. Quite possibly the most compact talk I have given but heaps of fun to deliver. They provided a brilliant insight into what is happening in the region.

The event was introduced by Kate Jesson and took place in Manchester Art Gallery’s Lecture Theatre. Other talks were given by Rachel Connor, Amanda Sutton, James Roper, Lucy Ridges, Rachel Goodyear, Richard Shields, Neil Greenhalgh, Mike Chavez-Dawson, Jude Wainwright and Ruta Skudraite.

Pictures appear courtesy of fellow Wellington Studio member Karol Kochanowski.


Featured in publication ToCall : No. 6

Delighted to announce that I have been invited to share my work in ToCall magazine – a simple, monochrome mimeograph edition limited to 100 copies.

The magazine was initiated by Petra Sculze-Wollgast and is inspired by the last issue of Tlaloc which was published in 1970 and edited by Cavan McCarthy. Copies are available to purchase from Petra’s website here. Each issue features works by international authors, poets or artists focussed on a specific topic and is published under Plaugolt SatzWechsler (or PSW).


Manifest Calling – Upcoming Artist’s Talk

Just a quick note to let you know that the Manifest Arts have launched the Manifest Calling event I will be speaking at on Eventbrite (as well as on Facebook). It is free to attend but ticketed, and I have been informed that there are roughly fifty left of the 100 available.

Taking place on Sunday 21st July from 2pm onwards, the talk will house 10 speakers (each with 7 minutes allocated). It has been designed to provide a quick snapshot of the diverse art being produced in the region. With a healthy mix of arts organisations, painters, photographers, performers, installation artists and sculptors as well as leaders of outsider art projects, it is guaranteed to be informative, educational, and enjoyable!

Whisper of Moths exhibition at The Print Mill, Macclesfield

I am happy to share that I will be taking part in The Whisper of Moths exhibition at the Print Mill in Macclesfield. Opening on 12th May and running for a month, you will be able to see pieces on display which have connections to Macclesfield’s history as a silk town.

My contribution to the show is in the form of paper cutting; something I felt would be exceedingly appropriate to bring to the show because of its history and connections to the silk trade. The process of cutting paper, its humble origins and anonymity of its practice has caused it to be an art form that is largely and unfairly dismissed, despite being a global tradition that crosses many boundaries in relation to religion and culture. As a result of its deep rooted connections to a wider world culture, I have found myself being drawn to the process for a significant part of my own creative expression.

You can read a little bit about the history of the medium in the text I supplied along with my exhibit (documented below if you are unable to visit the show in person):

“When the civilized world is contemplated, it seems almost inconceivable without paper. Since its invention, paper has enjoyed a unique and enduring place in our cultural development. As a medium, it is probably the most flexible, versatile and adaptable of materials, having been used to record and convey information whether in the form of text or visuals.

Paper as we know it was invented by Cai Lun in China during the Eastern Han Dynasty in the first century BCE. His process utilised the fibres of bark, hemp and silk suspended in water. A sieve-like screen then gathered the fibres and the pulp was allowed to dry, thus forming a thin matted sheet.

Initially this paper was available exclusively to imperial courts, but over time its production spread to the wider population of China. The material was predominantly used for writing letters and transcribing scripture but its potential as a creative medium for recreational purposes was soon recognised. It was around this time that paper-cutting first appeared, being used to create decorations for festivals and other celebrations in the form of banners, decorations for the home and women’s hair. Paper-cutting had become such a part of life in the country it even made its way into a number of Chinese writings including a poem written by prominent Tang Dynasty poet Tu Fu who wrote “I cut paper to summon my souls”.

During the sixth century, paper-cutting began to spread east with Buddhist monks into Vietnam, Tibet and Japan. Here, the art form developed into kirigami (a combination of origami and paper cutting) and then monkiri (which translates as “crest cutting”… the process of cutting family emblems).

By the eighth century it began to spread west along a 4000 mile long network of trade routes stretching all the way to the Middle East and the outer reaches of Europe (known as the Silk Road).

In India, the paper-cut was used for sanjih (a ritualistic craft used in the worship of Krishna). In the 1300s paper-cutting began to appear in Israel, used by the Jewish community to create religious artefacts such as Mizrachs.

By the end of the fifteenth century it had reached Europe, firstly in countries such as Ukraine and Poland where pieces were created by the upper classes as seals for their private letters. As production became cheaper and more accessible, the artf orm spread into the countryside. Decorative pieces called vytynanky or wyciananki were cut by farm workers for their homes during religious celebrations.

In the sixteenth century, examples called scherenschritte appeared in Switzerland and Germany. Following its establishment within European traditions, the art form was then taken to colonial America by the eighteenth century immigrants settling in Pennsylvania.

A little later in Germany, cut out letters called bindebrevs (binding letters) were sent to loved ones on their birthdays. This tradition was later passed to Norway and Denmark where it developed into the present day gaekkebrev (a form of love letter given at Easter).

Danish author Hans Christian Andersen was also known to give readings of his poems whilst creating a paper-cut with a pair of scissors, revealing the piece at the end (much to the delight of his audiences). It is partially through this connection that I became interested in utilising the paper contained between books. There appears to be a strong connection with the tradition and text which felt very natural to explore.

By the mid nineteenth century the paper making process had become mechanized. This increased production and helped the supply to keep up with increasing demand, allowing it to become widespread across the world. Around this time papel picado (punched paper) began to emerge in Mexico for use in festivals such as the Day of the Dead.”


WordPower: Language as Medium Out Now!

Had some brilliant news! WordPower: Language as Medium has been published and is available to purchase online via the publishers Library X or Amazon. This two-part publication explores works by a selection of 100 contemporary artists who implement the direct use of language and the written word in their processes (myself included).

The book reflects on the shift from the representative to simplified modes of visual communication and the practices featured range from the socially engaged, participatory approaches to the sculptural, conceptual, performative and new media formats.


Infinity Squared – Threshold 2019

Had a wonderful time performing at Best Before with Reid Anderson as part of Operation Lightfoot‘s launch event Infinity Squared (produced by Emilio Pinchi and directed by Luke Moore). Unfortunately the venue would not allow much coverage so I only have one image of the performance courtesy of Jazamin Sinclair.


Featured in Manchester Confidential article on Manchester artists

Really honoured to have been featured in Vicky Smith’s Manchester Confidential article “10 more Manchester artists you need to know about“. She writes:

” If you can say one thing about Emma Lloyd, it’s that she has patience. While the Kent native/adoptive Mancunian works in other materials, it’s perhaps her exquisite paperwork sculptures that she’s best known for. Pages are transformed into ammonites, cell structures and even people under the blade of her scalpel – making tangible the idea of books as otherworldly portals.”

My work appears alongside that of Kate Kelly, Tim Garner, Baiba Auria, Chris Cyprus, Andrew Brooks, Hilary Jack, Len Grant, Gina Kirby and Akinyemi Oludele.

Threshold 2019

Only about a month to go before my second time at Threshold Festival… this time I will be performing with Reid Anderson as part of Operation Lightfoot‘s launch event Infinity Squared (produced by Emilio Pinchi and directed by Luke Moore).

This year Threshold is part of the BBC Radio 6music Festival fringe. The opening performance will begin at 6.30pm at brand new venue Best Before in the Baltic Triangle. As well as my response to the theme of infinity, you can view performances from Dorothy Bird, Sara Wolff, Niki Kand, Emilio Pinchi, Kaya from Silence of the Lamps, theatrical performances from Deborah Elizabeth, dance from Aline Costa and video art from Jazamin Sinclair.

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).

Manchester Confidential: Things to do in February

Really lovely to see my show featured in Manchester Confidential’s “Things to do in February” article. They write:

“Emma Lloyd is best known for transforming familiar objects – particularly books – into breathtaking paper sculptures, but this exhibition sees the talented local artist explore printmaking and other mediums besides with her trademark intricacy. We suggest making an afternoon of it and exploring the gorgeous Salford Museum and Peel Park while you’re there.”

Many thanks for the feature Manchester Confidential!