Saturday 30 August 2008

Open Bench Residency: Emma Greenwood

How much paper can a girl use in one day?

As a footwear and accessories maker, one would assume that leather was the material I used the most. However, my practice not only involves the manipulation of leather into bold sculptural forms, but also initially focuses on making intricate and complex patterns from card and paper. These are maps of three-dimensional surfaces, and are jointed, stencilled and engineered to the nearest millimetre, often bearing little resemblance to the objects they will become.

A glimpse into my studio reveals workbenches littered with ancient hand tools, pin up boards displaying inspirations and half-completed models, stitching samples, a half-made shoe on a lasting pin, and a variety of materials including pattern-making card, rolls and fragments of fragrant leather, sketches, and metal fittings, findings and hardware.

From this creative chaos come frustrated sighs, as I refine patterns many times before even touching any leather, followed by moments of jubilation, as reliable tradition and lateral thinking come together to produce work which is refreshingly liberating in its deviation from the original plan. Part of the process involves letting things take me where I hadn’t anticipated; relinquishing control can be difficult, but unexpected results are usually the most compelling.

- Emma Greenwood

Emma is our final resident in our 3-week Open Bench Residency program. Making full use of the space, Emma has created a colourful and cosy studio space tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the outside. Truly an artist at work! Today is Emma's last day in Gallery 3 but stay tuned for an upcoming post featuring a conversation with Emma about her experiences during the residency. Hot stuff!

Next week Gallery 3 will accomodate a combined installation of all three artists (Julie Monro-Allison, Bridget Bodenham and Emma Greenwood). The exhibition will on display from 2-6 September.

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