From October to December 2010, the artist Emma Stibbon lived and worked in Rome as a Derek Hill Foundation scholar at the renowned British School at Rome. Here, she could immerse herself in the city's historically-charged architecture and internalise the diverse symbolic codes of different historic buildings. Stibbon is primarily interested in what she calls the fragility of the monumental or the supposedly permanent. This idea of utopian architecture's fragility is underscored by the delicate character of her medium–masterful architectural drawings and cityscapes with white chalk or ink on paper or chalk on black-primed wood fibreboard. In her earlier 'Berlin' series, the viewer is confronted with an artistic investigation of how one government can appropriate the architecture of earlier governments in order to legitimate its own system.Read More
Her images are sourced from reality, but the play of perspective and proportions in them makes them less photorealistic than dramatic or even heroic. They are images of a (failed) utopia, or perhaps even of an anti- or dystopia. The architecture is always monumental, whereas the individual is very small–seemingly insignificant and overwhelmed by the physical and metaphorical scale of the buildings as well as the ideologies reflected in them.
Emma Stibbon lives and works in Bristol (GB).
Text courtesy Beck & Eggeling International Fine Art.
In Summer 2017 Emma Stibbon began printing Caldera Overlook, her largest work to date, which measures 214 x 372 cm. The woodcut, an edition of 10, evokes the glow of a volcanic crater through lush rainforest as witnessed by Stibbon during her 2016 residency with the Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park. Printed by the artist and Amy-Jane Blackhall of...