States of Becoming is a solo exhibition of recent work by the British Artist Emilie Pugh. It brings together over 20 works of varying scale and technique, which investigate the micro and the macro structures of life and the conflicting and confluent universal forces that govern them, including works produced as bespoke large-scale lightboxes using our Direct to Media UV printing and Lightbox Framing services.
Tracing the invisible
In equal measure poetic and beautiful, the work of Emilie Pugh explores the energies that underlie and give force to life. Through drawing, burning, 3D installation and light-work, Pugh investigates the intangible, invisible and ephemeral currents that permeate our everyday existence. Time, breath, pulses, whispers and energy – things that are often felt or heard rather than seen – are made manifest by a series of lines, circles or holes that reverberate and expand across the surface of her works.
Pugh states that “everything is in flux – evolving, growing, dying and dissolving in a perpetual cycle.” Her thinking is influenced by Eastern philosophies, particularly by Japanese Wabi-sabi – a world-view centred on the acceptance of transience, imperfection, and absence. These ideas are expressed doubly through Pugh’s inventive mark-making and the unconventional materials of a lit incense stick, gunpowder, rice-paper, chemicals, thread and light and mirrors.
At the same time that Pugh’s careful choice of materials imbues her work with meaning, the force of each image is inextricably bound with the process of creation. Never preconceived, each work organically emerges as Pugh painstakingly works across the surface and responds to her previous marks. In this way, every work allows the memory of her activity and presence to accumulate. For 86400 Voids (24 hour drawing) Pugh used incense to burn a hole in rice paper every second for 24 hours, literally presenting the labour, energy and time spent in its creation. Furthermore, as the title Mindscape suggests, many of Pugh’s works are manifestations of her moods and feelings. With its intricate and rhythmic lines of flow, Mindscape is an imaginary cartography that simultaneously maps the passing of time and Pugh’s own “introspective journey.”
The strength of Pugh’s work lies in the productive connections between solid and void, material and immaterial, permanence and impermanence, light and dark. Materials respond to one another, marks connect and grow, and energy is transferred. Initiating surprising relationships between seemingly opposing things, Pugh’s work stands as a powerful metaphor for the world in which we live, gently reminding us that a single energy runs through all organisms, that everything is connected.
States of Becoming:
7 – 10th April (private view: 7 April)
12 – 6pm daily
The Cob Gallery,
205 Royal College St,
NW1 0SGVisit The Cob Gallery’s Website
Visit Emilie Pugh’s Website