Just to let you know that my most hardcore feminist artwork was selected for this group art exhibition, Actions to Return Home. This exhibition is part of a wider event called “My body my house”, and is dedicated to the sovereignty of female and dissident bodies. I love it that those Catalans are such staunch feminists!
Opening night: Friday, March 3rd at 7 pm.
Opening times: Monday to Friday, 10—2 pm and 4—10 pm, Saturday and Sunday 5—9pm.
Location: The Civic Center El Coll – La Bruguera, c/Aldea, 15, Barcelona, 3—31st March
Holding it together
This is my artwork that is placed as soon as you enter the civic centre. My aim was to acknowledge my friends serious life experiences – death, divorce, cancer, surgery, homelessness, menopause and gaslighting. I was with her on the journey as her life fell apart and she put it back together. It was such a strong experience I felt compelled to make some art about it, not thinking how other women would connect to it as well. It is an 57cm round wall hanging piece made from cyanotype printed on reclaimed silk, stretched on a found object, with sutures from models surgery. It is available on my web shop: https://www.emmaplunkett.art/artwork/holding-it-together/
There will also be video art. My one minute film, New Life will be screened. When you have endured nearly all of the harsh realities of life, especially when it comes to occupying the female body and then you go and do the best impersonation of a sprouting bean to express that you have overcome! A collaboration with the same model, made in 2019.
The exhibition is at a local civic centre called El Coll – La Bruguera, named after a famous Catalan cartoonist who used to do his printing in the building. The organiser warned me that there will be children and old people walking past the exhibits daily. Now, I’m not sure if that was to actually warn me off from offending people or to make sure I educate everyone to the harsh realities of what can happen to those who inhabit a female body?
You can see all the exhibits and read the descriptions about the art and artists (written in Catalan) in the online catalogue: https://heyzine.com/flip-book/0b48f042ab.html#page/29
Translation of my page of the catalogue
Emma is London Irish, with a degree in Fine Art from the University of East London. She exhibited her art and videos in London during her twenties, then in Granada province for 18 years before moving to Barcelona in 2020. She has dedicated her whole life to making art. She paints, sculpts, is an independent videomaker and has also worked intensively as a VJ (video projection artist) under the name Miss Plunkett.
“At the core of Emma Plunkett’s work is the female – not feminine or politicised. Whether it be a disappearing view of trees into the Spanish horizon, a slithering viscous ceramic or a candid nude. It is always individual and genuine. This we must celebrate.” Garth Lister (curator)
The underlying sentiment in Emma’s artwork is about women’s experience from the female perspective. She finds that women are still misrepresented and undervalued in the media and society in general. Emma is still experimenting and exploring ways to portray the female nude that is both honest and empowering.
About the artwork
Emma artistically expressed the harsh reality of the models experience. The title is about how she observed her old friend hold her life together (with two teenage sons), while she traversed cancer, divorce, homelessness, menopause, surgery, death and ultimately resilience and hope.
Emma took the pre-operation photo, enlarged the negative, tore it and printed it on a piece of second hand silk, using daylight sensitive chemicals. She rinsed and dried the silk (when it turns blue) and then stitched the tear back together using the actual sutures from the operation (collected from the doctor). She then attached the fabric to a rusted rim of a steel oil drum, that she’d picked up in the countryside.
A primitive drum feeling comes across in the piece, as well as the resolute stare that penetrates the audience. The worst is yet to come.