Leah Emery is an emerging Brisbane based artist whose current practice focuses on the interaction of her subject matter and the medium in which it is produced. Emery’s use of pornographic imagery executed in cross stitch excites a wonderful clash of sensibilities between the very feminine and domestic craft of needlework and the explicit images the artist explores. The inevitable result of these works is a conflict between the beauty of the woven colours, patterns, and texture of the surfaces and the vulgarity of the image itself.
The human body portrayed in today’s media is much removed from the real: forms are tanned, taut, shining, and often hairless, and as such are eerily alike. Earlier imagery featuring the human body, specifically pornographic depictions, shows the natural human form. These earlier images allow Emery to explore a more intriguing range of human landscapes; from the slimy and slithery to the pompous, hairy, and acrobatic. The stranger or more fantastic the imagery depicted the greater the divide between her subject and medium.
In 2007 Emery had her first solo exhibition entitled Secret Museum at Ark Atelier Gallery, Brisbane. The following year the artist had her second solo exhibition, The Exhibition, with Heiser Gallery.
Emery’s needle points have been curated in a number of group exhibitions including Artrage Erotic Art Awards, Breadbox Gallery, Perth (2005); Seattle Erotic Arts Festival, Seattle, USA (2006); Queensland Artworkers’ Awards, Raw Space, Brisbane (2006); Severance, Ryan Renshaw Gallery, Brisbane (2007); Arc Biennial, QUT Art Museum, Brisbane (2007) and Shoot low! They are riding Shetlands, Queensland Centre for Photography, Brisbane (2008). In 2007 the artist’s work was featured by Nadine Cameron and Alison Kubler in the exhibition Secret Museum which formed part of the curators’ project exhibitions presented under the banner of N&A present One Night Only. In 2009 the artists work was curated in the Self Portraiture Prize at the Queensland University Art Museum, Brisbane.
It’s Going Swimmingly
29 September – 24 October
6 November – 1 December
22 July – 16 August