Michael Goedhuis is delighted to present Motions of the Mind by British born artist, Emilie Pugh. Born in 1988, she studied at Byam Shaw School of Art and at the Ruskin School of Art and Drawing at Oxford University. She currently lives and works in London. This appearance of a convetional, almost traditional, artistic background is deceptive and belies the reality of her emergence as one of the most restlessly boundary-breaking young artists of today’s generation.
Her work for this exhibition incorporates daring pictorial disquisitions, not on an ideologically formed fantasy world and its self-referential plot lines, but on an attitude of honesty to the imperatives of lived experience, an attitude of openness to the aesthetic and moral traditions that have defined our culture. She puts it well herself… ‘I am guided by the interconnectivity of all living things. I draw on systems of belief from the spiritual to the scientific, the micro to the macro and the conflicting or confluent forces that govern them.’ She is interested in capturing the experience of the ephemeral nature of things... ‘we exist in a state of constant flux’.
In this sense she joins the Cubists in wanting to represent all possible ‘views’ of an object or concept and in her particular case a rounded vision, intuitive and emotional, of the rich inter-connectedness of things. She has a profound sense of multiplicity as the governing element of reality… In order to press her driving perceptions into tangible form she restlessly experiments with a versatile range of media: drawing, burning, gunpowder, chemicals, thread, 3D installation, incense stick and light as well as pen and ink.
Her titles are suggestive and guide us vividly to the subject. In Anatomy of Thought she refers to her ‘mindscapes’ that unravel intuitively, ‘at any moment, there are countless thoughts… which intersect, overlap, influence and distort one another. Everything that we experience adds to the complexity of our inner sea…’
Or again: Trailing Edge. The catalyst for these works was a visit to the Fluid Dynamics lab at Imperial College. Here her intellectual interest in fusing through her art her response to the life of the soul with that of her passion for science, enabled her to study the flow of patterns created when particles are forced over and around static objects.
Her Corrosive Light series shows her interest in neurology and the brain and led to her studying a book Portraits of the Mind which helped her to analyse ways of expressing electrical impulses and neurological pathways.
In Murmuration she has been moved by watching a film of starlings in flight… their graceful, boundary-less, lyrical swiftness epitomised for her the elusiveness of life’s (and nature’s) ever changing flux.
And in the Internal Aperture series she indulges her rich gift of draughtsmanship. These works are anatomical… like cropped apertures from a microscope. They are consistent with the theme that is embedded in all her work, that of boundaries and their fluidity. ‘The meeting’ as she says ‘between our bodies and the world.’
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