Emma Hart, (b.1974) in London, describes her practice as being in pursuit of the ‘real’: real life, real feelings and real autobiographical details. Hart believes ‘real’ experience is being smoothed over by the digital camera and sets out to make work that disrupts the seamlessness of our image led culture. Channelling her anxieties, embarrassments and autobiography the artist forces together ceramics, photography, video and sound. Hart transfers slick photographs on to crude clay shapes or butts up clean video screens against the messiness of clay. Hart scales up ceramics, to offer not objects but situations, making detailed installations that overwhelm the senses.
The sculptural installation Giving It All That, for Folkestone Triennial was presented in a decrepit flat and put the viewer under different social pressures. Long pink arms offered upset clay drinks from trays decorated with lurid photographs whilst in another room sweaty arms thrust out ceramic clipboards and mirrored eyes monitored the room. Spillages and sweat are details that often feature in Hart’s work as evidence of the uncontrollable body bursting through attempts to conceal our real selves. Her subject matter is visceral and physical, concerned with overspill, too-much-information and uncontrolled emotions.
Emma Hart | I am bowled over by the generosity of Paul Hamlyn Foundation’s Awards for Artists. I am deeply grateful and very lucky to receive the award: it will change everything. I can be the artist that I dream of being. An artist who has the time to slow down, follow up ideas, fully test out thinking and experiment with different approaches until I happily achieve what is in my head. Also I can remain an artist who has a studio, and that studio will now have proper kiln ventilation. For the first time I can breathe! I will be able to totally commit to making art, rather than constantly having to fretfully think about making money. Thank you very, very much.