How to get the bits back | Emmy Twigge | 02- 31 July 2011

What would a stomach tied up in knots actually look like? How would it really feel to drive a square peg into a round hole? What does it feel like to be in this body?

These questions form the starting point for artist Emmy Twigge, whose artworks endeavour to describe and express the feelings of the heart and the body. Her large scale sculptures, performances and videos form very literal manifestations of feelings and experiences, channelled outwards and removed from their original time and place. When the original feeling is drawn into the realm of art, placed into a gallery setting, Twigge brings into being unexpected and ambiguous effects.

Drawing links to the work of Louise Bourgeois and Bruce Nauman, Twigge's work possesses a similar sense of rawness and expressiveness. Yet, by maintaining a certain distance too, the works are free to independently communicate a more universal sentiment.

Standing in the gallery we are immediately affected by the dominant presence of a large picket enclosure, literally pushing us up against the gallery walls, holding the large central space hostage. Forced to navigate this pen, we move around an object which is at once highly obstructive but also faintly pathetic. This enclosure, if it were really meant to keep us out, would ultimately fail. Could this represent a barrier we construct around ourselves? Is it restraining or is it protective?

Similarly, the second room of the gallery is occupied by RibRack, a large ribcage-like structure hanging from the rafters. Does this structure seem to keep us out or invite us in? RibRack originates from a rather more personal drawing of Twigge's, an imagined feeling in the torso of a body. These initial ideas and feelings can be examined further, as Twigge offers us the chance to look into her sketchbooks, the record of her opening thoughts.

A lifetime of experiences influence the people we become, moulding and shaping us from our original childhood selves. This loss of innocence, Twigge explains, is like the outcome of her video work, where polystyrene bits fall away as the square peg is driven into the round hole. This exhibition addresses the notion of somehow recovering and retaining this lost purity, these discarded fragments of ourselves.

Visitors to the opening night of the exhibition saw the artist's performance, Emmy Twigge Presents How To Get The Bits Back, in which the artist, enclosed in the picket pen, proceeded to break open a number of unfired clay bricks she had made by hand. The inside of each of these bricks revealed a white porcelain ball, which were in turn washed and handed to members of the audience.

Artist's website

An Evening of Performance

During the opening of Emmy Twigge's exhibition a separate performance took place with artists Jenny Core and Rosanne Robertson. For more information on the performance please click the link below.

Further images of Emmy Twigge's exhibition/performance

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