Incorporating her own writing and references to other literary and poetic sources, Talbot combines painted text, figurative depiction, mark-making and pattern to shift the registers and readings of her work between the symbolic and the everyday. The imagery in her work is direct and hand-drawn, resulting in immediate, open, inventive representations of what is seen in the mind’s eye.
The relationship between the physical presence of the work and the fleeting nature of the subject is considered through particular materials: drawings on thin, hand-made papers are folded and painted works are made directly onto silk, which is sewn in sections to make hangings and installations. Her most recent three-dimensional pieces are constructed by hand with simple processes, such as papier-mâché, and stitched soft forms. Talbot will be exhibiting a new series of these works accompanied by further sound and animation pieces in the gallery.
Talbot’s work considers complex issues such as feminist theory and storytelling; ecopolitics and the natural world; and pertinent questions regarding our shifting relationships to technology, language and communication. For this exhibition, when our world was more uncertain than ever, Talbot imagines future environments where humankind has been flung out of a capitalist-driven society of digital technologies and must look towards more ancient and holistic ways of crafting, making and belonging to survive.
About the artist
Emma Talbot (b. 1969, UK) studied at the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design and the Royal College of Art. She currently holds the post of Tutor in Painting at the Royal College of Art’s School of Arts and Humanities.
Her work has previously been exhibited at Eastside Projects, Birmingham; Arcadia Missa, New York; GEM Kunstmuseum, The Hague; Petra Rinck Galerie, Düsseldorf; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Drawing Room, London, The Freud Museum; London; Galerie Onrust, Amsterdam; Neuer Aachener Kunstverein, Aachen and Tate St. Ives, Cornwall.
In March 2020 she was awarded the 8th Max Mara Prize for Women in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery London and Maramotti Foundation Italy, and through this award is working towards a solo exhibition at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2021/22. She is represented by Galerie Onrust, Amsterdam and Petra Rinck Galerie, Düsseldorf.
Listen to an audio version of the Exhibition Notes for Emma Talbot: Ghost Calls here.