Bodily capacities

Emily Mottos’ playdough parasites – selected by champion of young British art Kirsty Ogg
Art | 12 October 2014

Emily Motto ‘A bodily capacity (the endeavour of stuff on a frame’), 2012, performance, 180 min. Courtesy the artist and Bloomberg New Contemporaries

This article is part of Young Art Week – Defining a generation

Emily Motto ‘A bodily capacity (the endeavour of stuff on a frame’), 2012, performance, 180 min. Courtesy the artist and Bloomberg New Contemporaries

Welcome to HERO Young Art Week – our essential, multifaceted guide to the new wave of creatives working at the vanguard of contemporary art today. Across a dynamic week of digital content, we’re exploring what’s happening at the epicentre of this global community: from the ground up, the artists themselves and the key figures witnessing the evolution of the ideas, trends and movements defining this art generation.

As director of Bloomberg New Contemporaries – one of a growing number of institutions providing major support to young students, graduates and budding professionals within the British art landscape – Kirsty Ogg is at the forefront of nascent, young art. Providing a touring exhibitive platform for new and fine art graduates, each year, Ogg joins a panel of influential art voices to select 50 winners for the finalists exhibition, which kicks off at the World Museum in Liverpool before touring to the ICA in London.

For Young Art Week, she goes head to with each of her five selected artist highlights from this year’s final line-up.

Emily Motto, selected by Kirsty Ogg

Kirsty Ogg: Tell us about the work that was selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries
Emily Motto: I am showing several works that I have made using playdough extruding through flexible structures. I like to make playful sculptures that perform and evolve throughout, and beyond, my creation – especially in terms of their shape, and the physicality of the unstable materials that I build them from.

When creating my parasites for the show, I was inspired by how the materials I made and used fed off each other’s properties; the net, dough and string structurally supporting each other, and these responses creating new, and often quite fragile forms.

KO: Is there anything you are thinking of developing in your work following your selection for Bloomberg New Contemporaries?
EM: Recently I have been working with giant print-outs of photographs of people I’ve found online in collaboration with my sculptures.

The large scale of these printed images exposes the pixelated structures of these visual depictions of figures, and I am excited to use these prints within playful environments of my sculptures – as backdrops, but also as competitors.

KO: What are the current challenges faced in your own practice?
EM: I think the transience of the materials I am working with is quite challenging commercially. I am passionate about how my sculptures change and evolve over time – and am trying to work out how their temporary existence, fragility and dependency can exist in the art market too.

I am also finding the scale of the materials I am working with quite challenging at the moment. I like to make lots of my materials by hand, but as opportunities and commissions are getting larger, keeping up with the scale has been demanding. Making 300kg of playdough for A Bodily Capacity (one of my works in the show) was quite a tough exercise for one!

KO: How will you utliise this opportunity?
EM: Being in the New Contemporaries I am really excited to gain feedback on my sculptures when shown in a public environment, and have opportunities to meet with people who can help advise, inspire, and support me with my practice.

I am especially looking forward to the mentoring by Artquest, and receiving practical advice on being a self-employed artist. I hope to use their feedback and advice to help me develop and sustain my practice beyond art school and into the future.

The Bloomberg New Contemporaries exhibition shows from until 26th October at World Museum, Liverpool, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EN. The exhibition will show from 26th November to 25th January at the Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA), The Mall, London, SW1Y 5AH

Check out Kirsty Ogg’s interviews with New Contemporaries finalists Camille Summers-Valli, Imran Perretta and Jesc Bunyard.

Stay tuned for more HERO Young Art Week content in the coming days and plug into our social media platforms for updates as they come.


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