Wexford County Council Arts Department and Wexford Arts Centre in partnership with IT Carlow Wexford Campus School of Art and Design are pleased to announce Emma Roche as the recipient of the EMERGENCE Visual Art Award 2021. As a joint initiative between the three organisations, the award’s aim is to support visual artists with the development and promotion of their practice. Presented biannually, the award has a monetary value of €15,000 and includes mentorship support over the award cycle to the value of €2,000 and a solo exhibition at Wexford Arts Centre in September 2023. In addition, the artist has the opportunity to engage with It Carlow Wexford Campus School of Art & Design and avail of practical resources for a period.
Emma Roche’s works shift between the figurative and abstract combining the methodologies of knitting or tapestry with paint to create layered and textured works. The artist explores ideas related to day-jobs, waged and unwaged work, pregnancy and motherhood. Enquiries into labour and employment, and our attitude toward them are present in the knitted paintings which are made with long lines of dried paint and used like wool or thread. Ideas concerning how we structure and organise time are highlighted through these painted forms as the labour involved in their production is apparent.
For the EMERGENCE Award, Emma will produce a new body of large-scale knitted paintings and works on rug canvas. Considering domestic and occupational interruptions as a starting point, she intends to highlight everyday occurrences that take time away from studio practice. This focus will lead to experimentation, with an interest in abstraction and a laboratory style of working in the studio. The artist will also work collaboratively with students of IT Carlow Wexford Campus of Art & Design on a series of experimental painting workshops with a focus on everyday events.
Emma Roche lives and works in Wexford. She is a recipient of the Visual Arts, Arts Council Bursary Award, 2021 and 2020, Creative Ireland Bursary Award, 2020 and is shortlisted for the Zurich Portrait Prize, National Gallery, Dublin, 2021. Recent exhibitions include Spiders and Cheerleaders, Ground Floor Gallery, The Complex, Dublin, 2021 and Forward Slash at the LAB Gallery Dublin, 2018. Selected group shows include Small Night Zine, Catalyst Arts, Belfast and Garter Lane, Waterford, 2022, VISUAL Carlow, 2020 and 2019, Turps Gallery, London, 2018 and Green On Red Gallery, Dublin, 2018.
The members of the 2021 selection panel were:
Liz Burns, County Arts Officer, Wexford County Council
Una McCarthy, Director/Curator, Limerick City Gallery of Art
Maeve Mulrennan, Freelance Curator / Assistant Arts Officer - Cork County Council
The EMERGENCE Visual Art Award is supported by the Arts Council.
For further information on the award please email firstname.lastname@example.org.