Emma Fielden’s minimalist and monochromatic sensibility is coupled with a sensitive approach to materials that culminates in studied, elegant meditations on the nature of infinity. Her work sits at the meeting point between science and poetics, taking form through installation, sculpture, drawing and performance. She stretches philosophies of infinite divisibility and coalescence across scales, alluding to the collision of galaxies through the merging of drawn lines, or visualising uncrossable divides in mathematics to consider the distance between two people.
Julie Ewington describes how Fielden “scopes the universe through the thinking about it. (She combs the history and philosophy of science, draws on recent developments in physics and astronomy, delights in mathematical conundra.) Eventually, though, this conceptual investigation comes back to humans in search of a place in creation. … So while the beauty Fielden craves is found in phenomena like the deferred drama of two black holes on a collision course, these have personal implications, which she sees in works by other artists: in Magritte’s The Lovers (1928), shrouded heads seek to kiss in the fog of existence, or in Louise Bourgeois’s wonderful 1965 drawing found at MoMA in New York, its two ovals forever nearly touching, but not quite. As Emma Fielden suggests, from the remote to the infinitesimally close, infinity lives within us all.”
Read the full text by Ewington here.
Fielden began her art practice making contemporary jewellery with a focus on engraving and mark-making, and she has an earlier background in music. Since graduating from her studies in 2006, Fielden’s work has been regularly shown in solo and group exhibitions. Recent exhibitions include An Immeasurable Distance, The Lock-Up (2019); Between Stars Between Stones, Dominik Mersch Gallery (2018); To Have and To Hold: The Daadler Collection of Contemporary Jewellery, Art Gallery of South Australia (2018); Condo Complex, Patricia Conde Galeria Mexico City (2018); Drawing Conversations, National Art School (2016). She has received numerous awards such as the Paramor Prize Mayoral Award (2017), and has been a finalist in awards including the NSW Visual Arts Emerging Fellowship (2017), Woollahra Small Sculpture Prize (2017) and The Blake Prize (2016). In 2018, she was awarded the Art Omi Australia Committee Fellowship, selected to represent Australia at the Art Omi artists residency in upstate New York. Fielden is currently working from Parramatta Artists Studios Rydalmere, where she has been granted a two-year studio tenancy.
‘Dialogue’ (excerpt), 2020, performance with limestone, HD video with sound. Video filmed by Liam Benson. Performed by Emma Fielden and Tarik Ahlip at Parramatta Artists’ Studios Rydalmere, filmed by Dara Gill, commissioned by Parramatta Artists’ Studios.
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