Emma Talbot, Drawing Room London

Artist Emma Talbot Talk and Exhibition at Drawing Room London.

Saturday 28th September I attended an artist talk at the ‘Drawing Room’ gallery in London. Emma Talbot along with 3 other female artists were part of an exhibition called From the Inside Out. Their works explore the use of various forms of drawing to ‘navigate a passage from personal experience to the outside world’.

The artists within the exhibition use ‘immediacy and directness of the drawn line to document experience, lived or imagined, giving from to memories and private thoughts’. The works incorporate ‘assemblage and collage, testing the boundaries of drawing as it moved into three dimensions’. This, in particular, drew me to attend the exhibition as drawing in 3D was something that I am currently working on in my studies. I was also drawn to the fact that the subject of their work was linked to memory and experiences, something that I have an interest in, in regards to my subject matter of landscape and space. ‘Traditional craft techniques, such as embroidery and quilting, are used as a conceptual strategy’.  The use of these materials highlighted further links to my own work as I am currently completing weaves for my next exercise which will take me onto my assignment 3 piece.

The other 3 artists were: Nilbar Gures, Marie Jacotey and Athena Papadopoulos.

I was particularly attracted to Marie Jacotey for the fact that her drawings were mounted onto a mirror and they were so raw. It looked liked they had been ripped out of a sketchbook. The materiality is something that really interested me in this exhibition and whether it was something that the artists had thought carefully over and was part of the work or it was simply curated that way.

See below my notes that I took during the artists talk:

  • Drawing as a starting point and core of her work
  • She never knows what she’s going to draw
  • She makes a drawing then puts to one side then carries on drawing until she starts to see some  link that she can continue to take forward and explore
  • She lets whatever comes out of her mind into her drawing. Not thinking about anything. Might just be a mark on a page
  • Always working from imagination or text
  • Interested how we (humans/people) form a ‘mental landscape’ – how we remember. What we associate. How all what we see and read affects the work she makes
  • Large headed figure (came round intuitively) visually wanted to portray the immersive stuff of what we have in our head.
  • Figure wise – may have several limbs as its trying to do something – portray it doing something
  • Figures don’t have facial features – we cant see our own face. And our own figure is about our internal thoughts of ourselves (when she draws herself in personal experience)
  • The various works she has (drawing, 3D) with different media all have the connection of fluidity
  • Silk as a surface – liked the thinness. painting onto a bigger surface. Didn’t want the strong materiality of paper.
  • The soft silk makes her happy that she cant erase it.
  • Like making something without knowing what it is at first
  • What we see in art is ‘plural’
  • No distinction between drawing as 2D and 3D (this in particular was interesting for me to hear especially at the point of where I am studying at the moment)
  • Very personal space
  • Talks about edges – restrictions of a size of canvas
  • Became a widow, wanted to hide away and retreat from everything in the world
  • Physiologically moving on and finding her art
  • Metaphorically – a woman in a cave and then coming out and surviving. (I made my own link to time. The matter of time in art). She spoke as if at spring she was ready to come out into the world (metaphor)
  • A note regarding my work: in my work am I realising the beauty of landscape in the work now that I am the other side of depression. I want to save it? I want to make a difference somehow as I have seen how precious life is?
  • (particular image in her silk work) Coming in from work but theres this this black thing she’s returning to
  • Personal narrative all of us do on a daily basis as well as all our day to day thoughts – how we link to experience
  • Mythologise an experience so its like a myth but we have a link to that experience but we cant quite remember it or we remember but its too painful? Like a death/loss?
  • Lots of layers of thoughts
  • Thought intertwined
  • Walk around the work – see if from different view points
  • Theres not a massive leap from a detailed drawing to a more gestural one
  • Watercolour and silk my ideas link to transparency but she didn’t mention anything about that.
  • When she was at point 0 she questioned whether she was even an artist – wanted to create weak drawings. She felt weak and she didn’t want to pretend to be anything else. Didn’t want to try and be strong. Let herself be weak. So watercolour was a perfect material to use
  • Keen on writers that promote writing literally for yourself, just write.
  • Be you. cant possibly be someone else
  • 3D works emerging: wanted to make something present in a space
  • Wanted to create a form that would represent her
  • This figure of grey hair wanted to be present – Inso linked to work by Klimt, 3 ages of woman. One woman in shame. But the whole of her body shows the whole of her feelings/emotions. Which is what she wanted for her figure
  • Physical figure needed to be in a space
  • Her materials – materials that are tangible
  • The thing she was looking for doesn’t exist. So she had to create a physical 3D image
  • A lot on mythology – the idea of experiences that we cant Rea;;y remember and becomes a myth
  • She mentioned about another exhibition that she has in Salford. 3 roomed exhibition. First room physical figure of someone being born. 2nd room long silk painting containing all the sub-conscious and conscious thoughts we have in life and the 3rd room is a 3D figure representing death. Birth and death are things we ALL experience, its all a personal experience but its also an unknown experience but we all have it. The 2nd room is about being alive.
  • I asked about her use of line as it is something that I have noticed a lot in my work and I wondered how she used it in her work. – outline of figure, never filled in. The space within the figure. Her use of line in relation to japans prints, pre-reinassence image making: inventive. Wasn’t worried about volume of a form or shape.
  • Likes the immediacy of drawing – the imagination. Not worried about the realism
  • Aria Progof (not sure of spelling but that how is sounded) – a writer who interests Emma about writing about herself.
  • Let the visuals come to her
  • When drawing might just draw a mark or draw a shape then put it down and move on
  • No subject matter or no judgement in these drawings – I want to take this approach but I find that its difficult whilst im doing a course?!?!?
  • Her works have been described as childlike drawings because children aren’t expected ti have the skills to be a ‘good’ drawer. But she does it anyway
  • Drawing for herself in this way. Nothing brave about it. Hadn’t planned to show anyone. I really like this approach to art. For me I have always had a similar outlook on drawing. The idea of no judgement
  • She has a painting called: ‘the worst painting in the world’ which is a painting she did early after her passed and now she believes that it is her husband. She’s never shown anyone and was it was tough to make at the time but now she is further enough away (detached) from it. – this made me think of a painting I did after my father died and it was quite a similar sort of situation. I wasn’t really thinking too much about what I was going to draw. I completed the painting and its only now that I reflect on it and see it as a painting of grief and loss that has a representation of my father and my feelings at the time.
  • Explore the links between her initial drawings
  • Drawings are ideas that have got out and then the development of those drawings is important

I wasn’t expecting to feel quite so in touch with her work, but I am really surprised by how much her work moved me and has sparked a reflection on my own work in a different way. It has given me a more personal link to my own work that I’m not sure I actually realised. I think even though I am influenced by the rural vs. Urban landscape at the moment I wonder if there is an underlying reason to wanting to protect earth and explore the delicate world we live in due to my own personal experiences.

|Images of Emma Talbot’s work:

Images of Marie Jacotey’s work:



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