Emily Belknap‘s paintings, sculptures and installations have a sense of calm about them, they slow you down, allow you space to breathe. Having said that the sense of calm in her images belies the subject matter – it is political, focussing on the barriers that enclose us and restrict our freedom. She can put it alot better:
In my paintings and sculptures I focus on areas of convergence in a landscape; the horizon, the meeting of water to land, and the barriers [fences] delineating natural/political boundaries. My work addresses the in-between areas; the tender places that are partially wet and partially dry, the margin created by an open field meeting a line of trees, or the fence separating one backyard from another.
I find it easy to identify with barriers. A fence is a rigid structure on flexible ground. I think about how we use a fence to clarify or delineate. We abstract the landscape through constructed barriers. These barriers simplify the landscape, but over time they become ineffectual. In our attempts to stabilize, the barriers we construct are precariously placed. The ground beneath us is moving, slowly but persistently, and as boundaries change, barriers tire.
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