Emma Minkley

My work addresses the idea that the art object might act performatively, in the sense that it can be seen to imbue the creative process; that enacted in the making and contemplation of the artwork. Within the creative act, the artist may be seen to perform an artwork, evident in the mode of work he or she takes on; the collection of materials which are compiled in a certain way, recompiled, reflected on; perhaps disassembled once again, then reconfigured and resolved, if only temporarily. This act is inclusive of the viewer who, through his or her engagement with the work, adds another layer of meaning to it.

It is thus that the art object can be seen in two ways – as a prop or vestige of the creative act, and as an entity which is performative in itself, suggestive of acts yet to be performed. This is to, firstly, challenge the notion of the art object as a static and insular entity, and, secondly, examine the acts associated with art-making and viewing. I aspire to make artworks that encourage participation on the part of the viewer, with the hopes that the viewer may, through their contribution to the creative act, open themselves up to new ways of seeing and dealing with the world.

I work predominantly in mixed media assemblage and installation, making use of found objects, fabric, and organic matter, and taking on an experimental approach to practice.  I aspire to the “anti-art” craft aesthetic of the Dada object, and the way in which what was often thought of as “rubbish” was re-appropriated to contain multiple layers of meaning, challenging conventions in both art and society. The objects I make are intended to address the viewer’s sensibilities on more than an ocular level, disputing the art gallery dictum, “Please do not touch”. I’m interested in how “unfinished” work, such as rough drawings or models made during the making of an artwork, can potentially be a better representation of  the artist’s intent, and strive to make artworks which have this sense of “incompleteness”. In this way, the viewer may be more likely to develop their own understanding (or sense of “completion”) of the work.