The New Nature of Emma Davies
One morning a small bird flew into the studio courtyard of Emma Davies to construct a new residence in a window eave that overlooked her studio bench. The bird clearly liked what it saw. This did not appear to be the stuff of nature, but it was obvious the artist had a natural response to material. The same questions were being asked. What can I do with this? Can I bend it, stretch it and create form?
Several weeks later Davies noticed a perfectly constructed nest, only this was one with a difference. The bird had introduced new and unexpected design elements. Brightly coloured ‘twigs’ of polypropylene that had found their way to the studio floor now decorated the small birds new home. It was the nest of the future.
Bird and Artist with the same sensibility.
Birds are not the only ones curious about Davies’ work. She has been confounding us all with her ‘woven’ vessels for some time. Even with the strangeness of the material – intensely coloured industrial mesh – she has created objects that defy their origins and become precious. The non-functionality, uniqueness and tug of war between delicacy and robustness is seductive. The arrangement of vessels become a still-life tableaux.
With the opportunity to move away from the vessel Davies has pushed herself further to turn the three dimensional to create sculptural pieces. She has pushed the material to its limits, sometimes playing with its delicate lacelike quality, other times forcing it into more solid forms. Davies takes a basic, industrial material, one that is limited in gauge and colour to create something beautiful.
That small bird is honoured with a forest of nests, branches, pod shapes.
And now we are surrounded by this new nature. The small bird is gone. All that remains is a small, perfectly designed nest, both in the courtyard and in the gallery.