Monday 25 March 2019

Artist Emma's exhibition explores the pressure of maintaining different identities

Is There Anything Else I Can Help You With by Emma Roche
Is There Anything Else I Can Help You With by Emma Roche
Emma with friends at the launch. From left: Caoimhe Hunt, Ciara Spellman, Emma Roche, Aoife Miskella and Lucy Sheridan

Maria Pepper

Talented Gorey-based artist Emma Roche recently opened a major solo exhibition entitled 'Forward Slash' of new work at the LAB Gallery in Dublin which will continue until June 3.

The paintings deal with the social and economic pressure of maintaining multiple identities such as artist/office worker, actor/website designer, entrepreneur/barista and were inspired by the artist's everyday working life. They feature characters and topics from the work environment, in-house rules, bosses, authorative figures, colleagues, dream jobs and nightmare positions as well as imagined occupations and fabricated titles.

The supplementary labour that sustains artists' practice is often hidden. In the exhibition, these sideline occupations that are announced as the subject matter.

After completing a BA at the National College of Art and Design in Dublin and an MA at the Institute of Art Design and Technology, Dun Laoghaire, Emma has exhibited nationally and internationally for the past decade. She has made work as part of a residency in Reykjvik and is currently taking part in a painting course at Turps Banana Art School in London.

She is currently showing in a group exhibition, 'Women Can't Paint', in London. A winner of the Visual Bursary Award from the Arts Council in 2010, she has been shortlisted for several prizes including the Emerging Visual Artist Award in Wexford.

Her new exhibition at the LAB Gallery in Dublin received great recognition from critics and some of the work has been purchased by Wexford County Council and the OPW, which bought one of the larger paintings from the show.

The Dublin City Assistant arts officer and curator of the Lab Gallery in Foley Street, Dublin, is Sheena Barrett, a woman with strong Wexford connections through her husband Gary Ryan whose parents Eilish and Derek live in Curracloe. She has described Emma as 'an incredible painter' whose latest exhibition is receiving a fantastic response from visitors.

Wexford People

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