The University of Hertfordshire Galleries are delighted to present Making Trouble by Emma Donaldson. A graduate of the Royal College of Art, she has exhibited extensively across Ireland and this is her first significant solo exhibition in the UK. Making Trouble has attracted financial support from the prestigious Henry Moore Foundation, an accolade which firmly establishes Donaldson’s emerging presence as a sculptor.
The exhibition introduces a series of new sculptures and drawings. These works mark a considerable shift in Donaldson's artistic practice, taking a more hands-on approach to create stationary, physical and direct sculptural forms.
She constructs forms which are simultaneously otherworldly and natural, relating to the height and proportion of the body, with spherical shapes occurring frequently. Donaldson's constructions are fabricated from what the artist calls 'the stuff of life'. She deliberately chooses low-key materials, including wood, cardboard, worn cloth, watercolour on plaster and gloss-paint over paper-mache. Layer upon layer of these materials are meticulously applied to represent the passing of time. The sculptures may be fabricated from 'low-value' items, but they carry great significance in their subject matter; embodying memories, tension, persistent feeling.
As Donaldson explains: 'In assembling work I want it to appear spontaneously casual or quick. My surfaces seem thin, single-coated and flat - like an emotion flooding through, before fading, without tangible trace of reason.' Donaldson's sculptural forms and drawings have universal appeal in capturing the often ungraspable sensations and challenges with which we grapple in our everyday lives. She offers us a sense of understanding and resolution about where we stand as a person in the world.
UH Galleries' Artistic Director Matthew Shaul said: 'Donaldon's show is the second in a fascinating series of exhibitions with emerging sculptors that we are hosting at UH Galleries'.
Emma Donaldson completed her BA in Fine Art (Painting) at Wimbledon School of Art (1987-1990), an MA in Fine Art (Painting School) at Royal College of Art (1991-1993) and graduated form the School of Fine Art, University of Houston, Texas (1992). She lives and works in Amargh. Donaldson has exhibited extensively in Ireland, with recent solo exhibitions including: Trouble + Progress (2013) Millennium Court Arts Centre, Portadown and Drawing (2012) IADT, Dublin, LPP III (Queen Street Studios Gallery, Belfast. Recent group shows include: Palimpsest (2014) Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, The Past is Unpredictable (2014) F.E. McWilliam Gallery & Studio, Banbridge and Futures '13 (2013) Royal Hibernian Academy, Dublin. She will be presenting a solo show at The Butler Gallery, Kilkenny (2015) and The Dock, Leitrin (Summer 2016).