Statement, Biography & CV
Ema is a multidisciplinary artist. Her practice focuses on material collaboration and relationship to our bodily experiences. The source of the materials is determined by a triggering experience. The physical process of working with the material surpasses the triggered experience and detaches the autobiographical by creating a new presence, navigated by the material's physicality and Ema’s interaction. Ema’s artworks occupy an oscillating space between the present of the encountered experience and that of the skin related to the memory of our touch, sound, taste. The encounter for the audience is an environment of democratic dialogue between material elements triggering a notion of harmony and balance. In the harmonious aesthetic the viewer is invited to enjoy the ephemeral experience - encounter, through their own associations. The tension in Ema’s work lies in the ability of the haptic experience to defy the logic of the visitor through magic, made possible by the material process and elasticity. Ema’s critical study thesis is titled Experience beyond logic. From Titian’s cloth to Karla Black’s pink cellophane sheet, delves into the depth of possibilities through our relationship with cloth.
Ema was shortlisted for the FiliA2018 Art award as an emerging female artist of the year and her work was exhibited in London, Manchester and Brasil. In her multidisciplinary art practice Ema is developing a new body of work on the MA programme at City and Guilds of London Art School, exhibiting from the 9th to the 15th of September, 2019.
Ema’s own explorations are in agreement with Juhani Palasmaa’s teachings in The eyes of the skin. The view that we first see with our skin, this places the dominance of perception in a democratic dialogue with our other senses.
Ema's art practice strategy demonstrates the importance of the unknown as a trigger employing intuition and arising wabi-sabi values that occur in the collaborative dialogue with the language of materials.
1998 - 2018
Ema founded Platform 1 Gallery in 2005, the space was co-founded as a community art studio in 1998 with a group of local art students from Elliott School in Putney.
An exciting programme in 2018 marked a 20 year anniversary of Platform 1 Gallery, collaborations with Susan Merrick, Desparate Artwives (DAW), Intoon Dance and dialogues with the Museum of the Mind and Nightingale House. The collaboration with Intoon dance from WAF2018 ‘Please select City’ is currently a guest at Schenzen Fringe in China Nov’18.
Ema Mano Epps graduated as an Art Director from Central St Martins, majoring in photography in 2001. Her eye for detail won her a collaboration with Tate Modern, 2006-2009. 'Unofficial deposited records', a celebration project of the Borough area. Ema's photographic wrap was installed around the now, new Tate Modern wing. Her photography was also featured by Kodak with CSM world tour in 2001.
In respect of the appointment of the first woman director at Tate Modern, Ema collaborated in a live group Takeover, held at the front of the Gallery, endorsed by the Guerilla Girls, August 2017. Ema took part in the Colour Walk held at the V&A honouring Freda Kahlo’s courage and impact in culture and the arts, June 24th 2018. Ema participates and supports annual performances at the Cave in Pimlico and with DAW at Leyden Gallery E1 .
The artist’s interview was featured in the 'Old New' installation at the Design Museum opening exhibition, a piece by 'Special Projects' - Shoreditch in November 2016. In 2017 Ema was interviewed by Humans of London, by founder Cathy Teesdale.
Ema’s Platform1Gallery has hosted artist Norman Mine of Goldsmiths and award winning Zurich based performer Verica Kovachevska, Katy Howe of CSM, Teresa Albour of Kings College and Dagmara Billon of Himherandit Productions.
Ema's was a partner in an innovative robotic technology start up RoboFold, which merged global Avant Garde Architecture, Art and Design, focusing on material language specialising in folding and development of innovative making processes based on the language of materials. She co-organised Shape to Fabrication in 2014 celebrating the makers and Ideas behind London Olympics. In 2012 Ema assisted in managing, design and build of the Zaha Hadid Architects collaboration for Venice biennale's centre-piece 'Arum'.
From the 9th to 15th of September 2019 new body of Ema’s works can be visited and acquired at City&Guilds of London Art School. From October the works will be installed at Platform1Gallery, visit by appointment only.