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Emma Hurst

Blue 2022

In recent years, my work has been involved in dualities, experiential and experimental processes that push and pull against the limits of language and outward into new directions and into folded objects. I am interested in landscapes, (internal and external) and activating spaces using colour and materials: the social, psychological, and bodily factors that determine perception and define the scope of the human sensorium.


The sound of tearing cloth, the physicality of pulling the material away from its body and gathering in my arms begins the process of making my work. The material is activated and the life of a painting begins.


Intense colours of powder pigments are mixed and released into water, the colours are mesmerising. By laying out the canvas on the ground I begin to paint colour onto the rawness of the material. The colour soaks through to the underside, staining each fibre, providing a resistant counterpoint to its materiality. Both sides of the canvas are equally important. They interact or resist each other, somethimes in ways that happen by chance.


Homemade tools are created to assist in the folding of sometimes immense cuts of canvas after the colour has been applied. The heavy material is squeezed tightly, first, to rid the excess water, but more importantly for the folds to leave a permeant line within the structure of the material.


Concertinaed lengths of material are left to dry solid. Once prised apart, work begins on the other side. The process is repeated and another colour is introduced.  Evidence of each process is built upon and given the chance to reveal itself in the finished painting.


The idea is to build upon my paintings like books in a library. Each as important as the other: ageless, timeless with no hierarchy.

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