Emily Wolfe

Long Distance

6th Jun –
27th Jun 2024

OPENING EVENT: Thursday 6 June, 5.30-7.30pm

ARTIST TALK: Saturday 8 June, 2pm 
(This will be in person at the gallery as well as live on Instagram for those outside of Tāmaki Makaurau)

New work is a continuation of UK based New Zealand painter Emily Wolfe’s exploration of still-life painting, this time by piecing together old reproductions of landscape scenes and layering over segments of tracing paper and tape — referencing her experiences practising archaeology — into a collage.

These paintings begin with paper collages which are photographed and the collage then discarded. The raw material for them comes from photocopies of prints of landscape paintings, from coloured paper, cellophane, cardboard, or any other scraps or detritus found in the studio. In larger paintings these collages will sometimes form the backdrop to arrangements of found objects including old furniture, tools and measuring implements such as rulers, levels and draughting squares.

“The paintings make reference to the process of recording archaeological excavations, something I became interested in after a period spent working on a variety of sites with Museum of London Archaeology. The two processes of painting and excavating are connected in my mind. Each process involves layering and stratification and the consequent emergence of narratives.” (Emily Wolfe 2022)

Since excavation depends on subtraction, it could be regarded as the inverse of Wolfe’s painting process, but the intention in her current work is to hold these opposing ideas in equilibrium. By overlapping sheets of paper, the artist’s aim is simultaneously to disrupt and affirm the image and the nature of its construction as a series of intersecting planes.