Grand Union is very pleased to present big Mouth, a new collection of ceramic sculptures by Emma Hart that want to tell you how it really is and how it really feels.
Out from the gallery wall clay fists throw punches, rub crying eyes, clutch their stomach, whilst squeezed clay hair cascades through anus-like scrunchies. There are those clumsy spills from ceramic wine glasses that we all make from time to time. Sculptures fight and choke (classic attention seeking behaviour) and a video is coughed up, which lands unhealthily on the viewer.
Integrated into the sculptures are film, photography and sound elements which contradict their glossy finish with their subject matter – a roadside gutter, sweaty legs, a bum with knickers wedged up its crack. Combining ceramics with moving and still images is Hart’s plan to get ‘the insides onto the outsides’, so that pristine outward appearances can be eaten away by inner doubts and feelings.
Emma Hart believes the overwhelming real we stumble through is split from the way digital culture references it, then smoothes it all over. Life looks good in images, or if not good then far away enough for us to manage and control. Sculpture, most recently ceramics, provides a way to physically corrupt and ‘dirty’ images and forcefully squeeze more life out of them. Clay provides a way to work behind pictures, and reveal the raw, crude, real state of things that images screen off.
The gallery space is also filled with the sound of a radio spilling out inRadio Shame, an audio diary recorded whilst making the work for the show. Hart uses the broadcast to create a type of weather or climate that hovers over the work and interferes with its reception. The diary records some of Hart’s numerous trips to Asda, problems and thoughts – ‘I’ve been called authentic twice this week. I think they mean I’m working class.’
Emma Hart’s work starts with her own reality: her stresses, anxieties, embarrassments, tensions and anguish. She offers up a fractured experience of sculpture, image and autobiography, forcing us to confront the emotions and experiences that make up everyday life.