The Fine Art Society is pleased to announce two major exhibitions of new work by Emily Young (FRBS), widely acclaimed as Britain’s greatest living stone sculptor.
The first exhibition will be staged in the cloisters of the Madonna dell’Orto church in Venice from 9 May - 22 November 2015, to coincide with the 56th Venice Biennale.
Venice is a city of stone, and a city of stone carving; it is therefore a fitting location for this exhibition, which presents twenty monumental stone heads. Using rock from quarries near her studio in the Etruscan hills, Young’s work fuses the age-old principles of stone carving with a progressive, widely informed approach to form and composition. The contemporary and ancient are united in these sculptures, creating a rare and poetic presence that is amplified by the atmosphere of the tranquil Venetian cloister, which is part of the Madonna Dell’Orto church favoured by the Italian painter Tintoretto. Monumental yet strongly individualised, static yet expressive, these sculptures encourage the deep contemplation on mankind’s relationship with stone and its source of origin; the Earth.
Young observes: “Every moment of every day and every night humankind is called to by the Earth, and we respond to her, our mother planet, our creator. She is our maker, and we her dependents… These are things I think about when carving these stones which the local volcano has thrown out in some eruption, or the wind and rain has exposed over thousands of years, or a river has rolled and smoothed around, for me to find and work into a semblance of me, a conscious human. Throughout our human history we’ve acknowledged nature’s great powers in this way.
When I carve the stones I wait to see what the stone and I arrive at together. I think: these stones can easily carry my call back to the Earth, of sorrow and the knowledge of tragedies unfolding, along with gratitude and delight in the beauty of unpolluted night skies. I add my voice to the stone’s, one made in Earth’s history, in violence and stillness and endurance, born of their ascent out of and descent back to dusty origins. They can last at least as long again as they already have done, millions upon millions of years.”
Willoughby Gerrish, Sculpture Specialist at The Fine Art Society London says: “We're delighted to present these important exhibitions of Emily’s works in Venice and London. Emily’s timeless themes based on humankind’s connection with the natural world will appeal to a wide audience and offer a refreshing sculptural perspective to Venice and London's contemporary art offerings.”
A second exhibition of new work by Emily Young will be held at The Fine Art Society in London from 1 July - 27 August 2015.