Vice Chancellor’s Commendation
Much like an object, that teeters on the cusp of definition; the creative practice of Emily Gardiner is always pushing the boundaries of contemporary thinking. Gardiner takes inspiration from the fusion of historical and heritage based, themes, processes and locations merged with contemporary techniques, to create objects which are reminiscent of the past yet provocative and relevant to the present day. The resulting work is often site-specific and uses fragments of memory and ambiguous forms to convey the multi-faceted language of the object.
Materiality is of high importance to Gardiner’s way of working as it operates as a connecting strand that joins together concept and object. Gardiner’s object-centric view of reality is also contextualised by the mundane realities of everyday life which are then re-coded into artworks which challenge the viewer to reconsider what they thought they knew. Within this sphere, domestic things are brought up to new heights of importance and allowed to take centre stage, with kitsch at the helm of fascination due to its dead-behind-the-eyes authenticity. Like many creatives Gardiner’s practice has been influenced by the Covid-19 pandemic in recent months, and she has replied in kind by developing a series of work centred around plague and the home.