The Romantic poets of the 18th and 19th centuries were inspired by the idea of “sublime”. This was in reaction to nature, landscapes and environments so striking that they inspired visceral emotional reactions in the observer. Shock, awe, and even terror, belie our connection with the planet we inhabit. Yet for Emily Wisniewski, this relationship has developed into something more subtle, but no less potent. The artist who is currently based in Arizona, was a well-travelled child. She moved from Mexico, to the United States, to Italy, before returning to the US. Despite, or perhaps because of this varied upbringing, Emily always felt connected to the Earth, no matter where she was. She feels her background is defined by her relationship to our planet.
Emily and the Earth
Emily believes that the earth provokes a reaction in her. This reaction is not one of awe and remoteness like the with the Romantic poets, but rather a sense of deep affinity. She believes that her subconscious is awakened when in nature, providing a sense of completeness and fulfilment to Emily. She feels connected to people when in nature: past feminists and queer activists, her ancestors, who paved the way for her in the present. Emily name checks Anselm Kieffer, whose paintings were so elemental and essential, as a key influence. We have many points of connection with the past, and those who came before us. Names, religions, nationalities and more provide us with a sense of relation with our ancestors. Yet perhaps the most tangible link we have with these people is the fact that we all walked on the same rock.
images provided by the artist. credits as labeled.
Whilst she considers her work to have sprung from painting, Emily considers herself to be a multi-disciplinary artist. She has worked with installation and video art, as well as a host of other mediums, including bio. Appropriately for an artist with such a deep connection to the planet, Emily attempts to incorporate nature into her work, like mud and grass. Yet, even when nature is not physically, literally present in her work, it is always the focus. Paintings like Funeral for a Polar Bear and Teargas the Messenger speak not only of the artist’s deep connection with our planet and environment, but of the deep sadness at our conflict with it.
self-reflection and inspiration
Emily has been a keen and insightful contributor as one of PILOTENKUECHE’S inaugural online residents. She believes that the residency has benefited both her powers of self-reflection, and her professional expertise. Emily hopes to harness the unique situation that both she, and all others involved in PILOTENKUECHE find themselves in, and find inspiration in it and to create that which moves people.
written by Ben Gosling
Fri 26 March
live and on zoom