Emily Nickel, ‘The Emerald Suburb’, 2016, Cerbera Gallery
Emily Nickel, ‘The Emerald Suburb’, 2016, Cerbera Gallery
Emily Nickel, ‘The Emerald Suburb’, 2016, Cerbera Gallery
Emily Nickel, ‘The Emerald Suburb’, 2016, Cerbera Gallery

The Emerald Suburb

This piece uses references to folklore, portal fantasy, comic books, and children’s book illustration to explore the multifaceted experience of growing up in an American suburb.
Suburbs, like the Emerald City of Oz, are often envisioned as a picture perfect refuge. The crystal forms reference the Emerald City’s towers. The suburban experience can be one of peacefulness or of isolation, and sometimes both. In the neighborhood pictured, windows blaze with light but only one girl is outside.

The uniformity of suburban architecture can be a source of satisfaction or of ennui. The repeated turtle forms reference the visual repetition of suburban homes, while also referencing the world turtle, who carries the world on its back.
Many visual details in this piece are taken from the artist’s own life experiences. As always, I invite viewers to reflect on how their own experiences, feelings, and memories play into the visuals I’ve provided.

Portal (Solo Show), Leedy-Voulkos Art Center, Kansas City, MO. Invitational.

About Emily Nickel

American, based in Las Vegas, NV, United States