Artist’s Statement

My practice explores being alive, embodied and gendered.  Through my work I celebrate my fluid and shifting identity as a woman, a making and remaking of identity, seeking a place to be on the edges of things.  The research of theories around gender, identity and belonging forms a background to the work which develops through the process of manipulating media and ideas in the studio. Archetypes and symbolic beings weave their way through the work.

My many years working with people impacts on my practice, the physical and emotional intimacy of being with another through times of intense difficulty and pain, through madness, disease and to death, has taught me the power of stillness, tears and laughter. All tongue in cheek and dead serious. Embracing the weight of being with a light heart, playfulness threads through my work, with references to childhood games, dressing-up and pretending.

The use of fabric and sewing to construct pieces is an element of gendered practice, a turning away from traditional art-making materials. Sewing as an act of mending, healing appears in current work with the character of Emily being used to explore the gendered, complex and conflicted role of carer. This recent body of work saw a return to the use of video with a performative element and current projects are very much focused on video as an outcome of performance with constructed objects becoming elements within the video and potentially elements of installation in a gallery setting.

Emma Ainsley
repaired prepared gloves
Current Projects