Taking place from July 25th to August 1st, the Emma International Collaboration is an unstructured, creative collaboration between invited artists from all over the world. Affectionately known as “Emma,” this biennial week-long residency takes place at the Ness Creek Festival Site in Northern Saskatchewan. Artists at various stages of their careers are challenged to step outside their usual art practice to explore medium, technique, and subject matter through hands on collaboration and exciting creative exchange.
What is your current area of artistic interest?
I create animated abstractions, lyrical yet succinct forms that surprise viewers with complex geometries and jaunty stances. My sculptures capture the tension between the spontaneity of the imagination and the restraint of meticulous craftsmanship. For me, sculpture is problem-solving: engagement with the material world and the resistance and affordances it provides. I enter the studio with sketches but no preconceived solutions; rather, I embrace the unforeseen possibilities that arise when building by hand. My sculptures thus embrace a raw, awkward sensibility that emerges through their making. I complement my intuitive form-making process with great attention to detail. I employ labor-intensive metal fabrication and woodworking techniques to realize challenging compound-complex curves, angular geometries, and the intersection of disparate volumes. I continually experiment with materials and techniques to express new possibilities, creating an eclectic oeuvre united by my engagement with formal abstraction.
What is an an interesting or surprising aspect of yourself as an artist?
My interest in railroad steam engines, which began as a kid and continues to grow, directly informed my passion for creating objects in three dimensions. I was grateful to have received my early training in wood and metalworking from an eclectic group of machinists, boiler welders, retired railroaders, and the like, who took me under their wing, and taught me the foundation skills necessary for crafting functional, well-detailed, and aesthetically pleasing forms. My training later continued in architecture and furniture design, but the knowledge imparted on me by these early mentors continues to influence my sculptural work.
If you could have an artistic super power, what would it be?
Visual Clutter Elimination: The ability to see through a chaotic studio and locate that tool I set down but cannot seem to find.
What is the biggest thrill for you as an Emma participant?
My participation in previous Emma Collaborations have been the highlight of my summer for two reasons:
- I was thrilled, humbled, and honored to have the opportunity to work with such an eclectic group of talented artists.
- After the intense energy and creative focus at Emma, I found that I returned to my own studio practice reinvigorated and ready to take risks.
Emma Art Auctions
- WHEN: Wednesday, August 1
- Invite friends on Facebook
- Live & Silent Auction: 4 – 7 pm
- WHERE: Ness Creek Festival Site, east of Big River, SK
- WHEN: Thursday, August 2
- Invite friends on Facebook
- Silent Auction: 5 pm
- Live Auction: 7 pm
- WHERE: Holy Family Cathedral, 123 Nelson Road, Saskatoon, SK
These live and silent art auctions take place at the end of Emma at the site and in Saskatoon. The auctions are fun, free, and open to the public. This could be the beginning of your art collection! See what artistic magic occurred at the week-long collaboration! Bid on sculptures, paintings, furnishings, jewellery, and wearable art created by more than 80 international, national, and local artists. Proceeds help fund the next Emma.
The Saskatoon auction will feature food by Fresh Dish Catering and a musical performance by Saskatoon local Ellen Froese.