Earth Day 2020 Nomination: Emily Young
Earth Day Artist Selection: Emily Young
Emily Young the philosopher, philanthropist and activist enables a poetic beauty in her art, "a poetic justice that allows the earth to speak for itself and educate those that want to listen".
Working from an abandoned monastery in Tuscany Emily young creates timeless stone carvings that bring the natural beauty and energy of stone to the fore. Emily's pieces meditate on time and our relationship to the earth.
Great heads, torsos and discs are forged in "the work field"; Emily's outdoor work studio, where she gradually chips away to reveal the character of the stone letting its impurities guide her hand.
"when I carve a face into the stone, I seem to be acting out my self consciousness onto the stone, a stone that holds some of the history of the globe, formed of the very same original kind of material that I am formed of – a process begun billions and billions of years ago in the origins of our universe. I put a little modern consciousness back onto nature, who made both me and the stone. I carve the stone into familiar forms, carrying with them an emotional charge; the forms are beautiful, the stone broken. The expressions of sadness, of reflection, are easy to read – I like to think that anyone who ever lived on Earth, anywhere, any-when, would recognise these form".
Emily describes her sculptures as "fictional archeology" that don't belong to a time or period but poses the magic of all ages. She is repelled at the thought of white marble and it's constrained characterization; a surprising admission by the granddaughter of Kathleen Scott; a colleague of Augustin Rodin! But Emily is passionate about the elemental quality found in rocks and is drawn to working with its impurities.
"The loveliness, power and strength in the stone is the raw beauty of nature herself; I can put a more or less familiar shape onto it, like a suit of clothes, and then eyes can look in and see what has been there for millions or billions of years, made with water, made with fire and gravity, made with time; majestic and ancient, and alien, our ancestor, part of that from which we came."