Emma Nash

Hampshire, UK

Artist's biography
Secondary and 6th Form teacher, art practitioner, perpetual student... I have always been fascinated by the beautiful and the grotesque, the phantasmagorical and the ethereal. I grew up always looking into the world as if from behind glass and found I best understood it through my passions for music, literature, art, theatre and film; anything that provoked a visceral response. I will never forget starting at art school or going to my first rock festival and feeling as if all the odd kids from every town had finally come together. My heart belongs to Eddie Vedder, Courtney love, Audrey Hepburn and peroxide. I chose to teach because I wanted to share my love for all things creative and be there for the student who felt as I had. I hope to always be completely moved by a good book, to be gregarious and to never lose my love for artistic practice.

The work presented is in part submission for my research degree: The Anthropomorphic Object in Contemporary Art Practice as Harbinger of 'The Uncanny' with Specific Reference to the Doll and the Collection. The conceptual arena of the uncanny creates a playground for creative practitioners as it provides such rich and intriguing subject matter to toy with. Freud's only investigation on aesthetics, The Uncanny, is highly suited to use as a tool for understanding and deconstructing the meaning of contemporary art works that relate to the uncanny - pieces created to be specifically affecting. Such artworks don't aim to be attractive but are saturated with hidden meaning, created by artists who are impelled to externalise their own emotional and autobiographical concerns. We aren't in the cosy, realm of art for decoration; we are not to expect a study of beauty. We are going to explore the realm of aesthetics which have the power to affect or arouse our negative emotions. Freud opened his study with the following statement:

'Only rarely does the psychoanalyst feel impelled to engage in aesthetic investigations, even when aesthetics is not restricted to the theory of beauty, but described as related to the qualities of our feeling. '
Sigmund Freud, The Uncanny, London: Penguin, 1919, p.123

I would place my work within the sphere of conceptual art textiles. I draw inspiration from a variety of sources including: period costume, fine art, conceptual art, illustration, animation, literature, music, theater and film. I am a great lover of the practices of: Louise Bourgeois, Kiki Smith, Caroline Broadhead, Tracey Emin, Jan Svankmajer, The Brother's Quay, Rozanne Hawksley and conversely classical painters such as Waterhouse, Nattier and Holbein. Key themes in my artistic practice are: childhood, psychology, enchantment, suspension of disbelief, abjection, collection, assemblage, anthropomorphism, identity, memory and the form of the doll or child-woman. I am greatly moved by art created from cathartic means and have insight into the reparative nature of my work, although it is not something I have explored in theory or presented at this point.