States of Becoming: Emilie Pugh at The Cob Gallery

States of Becoming is a solo exhibition of recent work by the British Artist Emilie Pugh. It brings together over 20 works of varying scale and technique, which investigate the micro and macro structures of life and the conflicting and confluent universal forces that govern them. “




For those that have not yet seen this artists work here as a quick introduction:

Emilie Pugh is a London based visual artist. She studied at Byam Shaw School of Art and at The Ruskin School of Fine Art and Drawing at Oxford University.

In her own words:

What are the main themes within your work?

I am interested in the interconnectivity of all living things. My work draws on systems of belief from the spiritual to the scientific, the micro to the macro and the forces that govern them. So I look at images of cells, anatomy and space as well as imaging what the invisible energy that runs through them might look like. The pulse, a breath, psychological cartographies; things that are felt rather then seen. 

What are the materials and process you use?

I use a wide variety of mediums and processes to make my work , often using quite unconventional methods like burning into paper using a lit incense stick, using gunpowder, chemicals, bleach and light as well as the more conventional pen and ink or pencil. The choice of material and the processes are often bound up with the concepts themselves. The materials carry meaning in their physical properties. 

What inspires you, other than your main themes?

I get my inspiration from all sorts of places from listening to podcasts and lectures to sitting in book shops or travelling to new places. I made an incredible trip to Japan a few years ago where I was introduced to Taosim and zen philosophy that is still informing my work today. I love London, it is a really exciting place to work but I grew up in the countryside and I still I find that things become clearest to me when I am closer to nature. 

The images vary in size from the vast “Anatomy of thought” 420cm high and 270 cm wide, commanding the window and both floors of the gallery space, through to the “Nocturne” series grouping empathetically together in the corridor space.




These works are beautiful and graceful, they make me think of sea creatures, or the fins of fan tailed fish, constellations and the cosmos, to flowers and cells. There is both nature and philosophy in the images.




“86400 voids” is a lesson in mindfulness. The “hybrid series” (both black and white) are an idea of studying anatomy, of understanding something through looking, seeing, and feeling.




This body of work showcases knowledge of materials, of challenging materials, and pushing boundaries of how materials can be both a tool and a subject. It explores where we are within the universe both physically and philisophically, but doesn’t require you to know or understand, you are allowed to just look, see and enjoy.

Emilie Pugh: States of Becoming is at The Cob Gallery, London on 7th – 10th April, 2016



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