Sculptures and inspiration

Earlier this month I was lucky enough to be allowed to tag along on a shoot of a video interview with internationally acclaimed artist, Emma Rodgers.

I went with our audio visual team to her house on the Wirral, where she has her studio. They needed to film Emma because her work is going to be included in our forthcoming exhibition ‘The Rise of Women Artists’ , which will be at the Walker Art Gallery from 23 October 2009 - 14 March 2010. This video would be used to create one of the interactive displays for visitors to explore in the gallery and also to make video clips for our website.

The team filmed her working on some of her sculptures, while she answered questions about her inspirations, early career and what it means for her to be a female artist.

It was really interesting to hear about the processes that Emma goes through when creating a sculpture, whether this is of animals or humans. Sketches form the foundation of her work, sometimes from observations at Chester Zoo and also during animal autopsies at Leahurst on the Wirral. Through her work, Emma also travels abroad regularly. This also helps her study of animal’s bodies as she is sometimes lucky enough to hold animals like monkeys. She said she had been able to get to know the character traits of different primates, which also influences the way she depicts them in her sculptures. Emma clearly loves animals as well as finding them inspiring – we even met her pet hare, Mr. Redfern, who she said has helped her think about joints and bone structures in her work.

Emma has also spent time observing and sketching dancers and said she is fascinated by their muscle structures and how their bodies become altered through dancing. As she was answering questions from curator, Robin Emerson, she was building up a sculpture of a woman’s body, piece by piece.

You’ll have to wait until the exhibition opens on 23 October 2009 to see the video clips and find out how that sculpture turned out! In the mean time you can find out more about Emma's work on her website or browse through our Emma Rodgers Flickr set.