GCCAR HDR student Emma Rochester recently completed residencies in Canada at The Leighton Artists' Colony, Banff Centre (until March) and at the Feminist Art Conference, Artscape Gibraltar Point, Toronto Island.
Emma is a context-based interdisciplinary artist who uses her body as a channel to investigate the iconic power of nature – a terminal through which explorations of imagination, memory, and sensorial understandings of gendered landscapes are filtered and structured into multilayered works. Exploring ideas of the feminine as allegory for natural environs and the sacred, she creates site-specific projects that comprise fibre forms, drawings, textile design, sculpture, video art and performance artefacts.
Her current PhD project is an inquiry into the affirmative potential for the depiction and experiencing of the divine as woman. Titled “The Embodied Artefact – a nomadic approach to gendered sites of reverence through an interdisciplinary art practice”, Rochester undertakes pilgrimages to scapes of prayer and petition for those who identify as female. These include but are not limited to Black Madonna shrines, caves, springs, lakes, Neolithic fertility sites and Aphrodite Temples.