Emily Speed was born in 1979. She works in Frodsham, Cheshire. She received a BA from Edinburgh College of Art, and an MA from the University of the Arts London. She has exhibited in public and commercial spaces in England, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and the US. She is widely collected and has received numerous awards including being shortlisted for the Northern Art Prize in 2013.
Emily Speed’s work has a penchant for the physical. She examines the way we interact with space through exploration in multiple media, often intersecting and interacting with one another. Her drawings are also sculptures, her sculptures are also costumes, and her installations are also performances.
Instantly upon viewing her work, I thought of Bachelard’s The Poetics of Space. It’s apparent that Speed also believes in the major influence of a home on our psyches. What we build and what is built around us is what builds us.
In books such as A House like Me, she experiments with depictions of how architecture becomes representations and extensions of ourselves. In Inhabitant, the artist literally builds an architectonic costume that is worn while traveling through urban space.
In her latest installation, Carapaces, she examines renaissance illustrations of space exemplified in the work of Giotto, and uses their consequent awkward qualities to build upon how experienced real space can have psychological resonance. In Speed’s world of sculptures, illustrations and costumes, we get to play with space and in turn examine how it protects us, represents our vulnerabilities and holds our deepest memories.
– Rachel MacFarlane
View More of Emily Speed’s work here.