Emma Gardner Wildish, 2020
- Cyanotype, hand and machine-stitched silver thread, trace monotype oil stick, silk
- Each 200 x 100 cm
- Image Credit
- Installation of Wildish at Redland Gallery, Cleveland
Emma Gardner She Lingered for a While (Baba Yaga), 2020
- Cyanotype, trace monotype oil stick, linocut on salvaged Indian textiles
- 220 x 153 cm
- Image Credit
- Thomas Oliver
About the exhibition
Wildish is heavily narrative driven and questions the human condition. I reference historical folklore tales of Baba Yaga and The Handless Maiden – one is from Russia and the other from Germany. These two tales stem from oral traditions where storytelling was an embedded pastime in everyday life.
They both have female protagonists whom endure horrible experiences at the sake of others yet they muster the will to fight on. They are tricked, betrayed, impoverished and abandoned both emotionally and physically by those closest to them. The protagonists are not macho in any way, they are innocent and vulnerable, yet the set out into the world with nothing more than their intuition. Both of these tales tell the protagonist journeys in forests and link them closely with the elements of nature, from seasons and cycles to the rhythms of dawn, day and dusk.
I find these tales triggering, not only because of the atrocious incidents that happen to the protagonists but because after all of their adventure, endurance and heroism they are still reliant on grand narratives that I do not believe in. So I subvert them – placing myself in the works to implicate my figure as both author and subject, to complicate the relationship between truth and fiction. I use laborious and experimental processes combined with fabrics sort on my own adventures in India. I use drawing, trace-monotype, cyanotype and stitch. In the exhibition, visitors will walk through my hand-embroidered and machine-stitched imagery with life-size cyanotype monogram prints of my posed body.
Artists and Curator