Queensland College of Art (QCA) Fine Art PhD candidate Emma Rochester is enhancing her artistic production and creative research through an artist-in-residence program at Crane Arts in Philadelphia, United States.
The QCA residency program, established in conjunction with Crane Arts, allows QCA students and staff to visit the United States, stay in a studio (pictured below) and enhance their work practice by engaging in creative activities in and around Crane Arts and Philadelphia.
Emma received a QCA Postgraduate Research Grant from Griffith University to undertake the residency as part of her doctoral studies, and says that undertaking an artist-in-residence program at Crane Arts has been a time of production and creative research.
“Being in an environment solely dedicated to creation and art practice allows a steeping of creative ideas and the chance to develop them,” she said.
“I enjoy meeting other artists, exchanging ideas and being able to focus solely on my work.”
Emma uses multiple media in her work, combining textiles, video art, drawing and performance, to create hybrid works that influence and appeal to people in different ways.
”My PhD project is centrally concerned with landscape, female deity and textiles,” Emma said.
“Textiles are often linked to women’s work and craft practices and it is this traditional form of craftsmanship blended with modern technologies, from synthetic fibres to digital modes of making, that greatly appeals to me.”
“At Crane Arts, I have been able to learn new techniques like weaving and American folk art practices. I’ve also been able to collaborate with other artists, in particular, contemporary textile designer, Janell Wysock,” Emma said.
Emma also credits her two PhD supervisors and mentors from QCA, Dr Anne Taylor and Professor Ross Woodrow.
“Their knowledge, as both artists and academics in contemporary art practice, has influenced my work greatly.”
While at Crane Arts, Emma has created two exhibitions, giving her the opportunity to gauge international reactions to her work.
“Being able to develop work for two shows means that I can reflect on my travels to sacred landscapes and consider how I can blend my experience into the artwork that I present. These exhibitions then allow me to see how American audiences react to my work and how artwork is experienced transnationally.”
Emma, who is in her second year of her PhD, will complete the 12-week artist-in-residence program in early October. Her second exhibition at Crane Arts in Philadelphia with Janell Wysock opens on 11 September and runs until 27 September