Emily Spooner is an interdisciplinary artist based in Montréal, Québec. She explores memory as a source of comfort and grounding, and works primarily in painting, drawing, textile manipulation, embroidery, and photography. Born in 1996, she graduated from Dawson College’s Visual Arts program in 2016 and is currently completing her BFA at Concordia University. Her work has been shown in various group shows throughout Montréal, most notably the exhibition Five Crucial Tips to Outrun Marina Abramović as part of the 2017 edition of the Art Souterrain Festival.
My artistic practice explores memory as a source of comfort and grounding. Drawing upon my own lived experience, I am interested in rendering tangible the ‘sense of place’ that stems from my visual and tactile memory. In doing so, I am building a microcosm of objects and imagery uniquely related to my inner world in order to create a space of comfort. These projects can take the form of painting, drawing, textile manipulation, embroidery, and photography. Working in various mediums allows me to explore the different sensorial dimensions of memory and comfort, while also drawing upon communal memory through traditions of craft. In my artistic practice, I am also interested in juxtaposing notions of soft/hard, delicate/rough, personal/communal, and vast/tight space through material, technique, and subject matter. While contrast plays an important role in my work, both form and subject always hold a common link to various aspects of my memory. Through repetition of certain icons, I am also exploring the progression, warping, and eventual deterioration of memory.
When creating work, I am constantly repurposing found materials and imagery. In terms of photographic references, my process for sourcing imagery is very instinctual. When looking through batches of photographs, whether my own or found images, I set aside those that peak my interest instantaneously. These are often photographs that I can relate to my own emotional experiences in life, not necessarily in a literal sense, but through an instinctually familiar feeling. Drawing inspiration from various bits of different photographs, I create works that give me a sense of ‘home’ - a feeling that they represent the parts of my life that I cannot express fully in words. This same instinctual process is used when gathering textiles for my projects, or collecting objects for inspiration. In terms of colour, my palette is an amalgamation of the visual imagery throughout my life. Soft blues stem from memories of childhood; while bright oranges are a result of the visuals I’m surrounded by today. I work with colours that I feel a strong personal connection to - colours that feel like home. In the process of creating work, I am constantly reflecting on what feels authentic to my life in order to express my own ‘sense of place’.