november, 2021

01nov11:4512:15E Bush: The feel of the tiniest latch has remained in our hands11:45 - 12:15 Studio 6Event type:PresentationTopic:Photographic process


(Monday) 11:45 - 12:15


Studio 6

Event Details

Emma Bush – The feel of the tiniest latch has remained in our hands – a performance lecture

The feel of the tiniest latch has remained in our hands. This performance lecture focuses on memory, materiality and the immanence of loss- creating an intimate and touching encounter whilst challenging conventions of time. Beginning in a process of making material memoirs with my mother Kathleen Bush (81) and Gail Marie Gauden (77) the work focuses on sensory re-call and shared acts of sensing. Using a collection of small objects that can be held in the palm of the hand the work creates an intimate environment through storytelling on memory shared across bodies, times and places. This is a project with roots entrenched in, the fear of loss, the immanence of death, old age, and our relationships with place. It is an expansive process mapping a person’s life through memory – we encounter ‘a rush of stories’ (Tsing: 2015) which can offer a sense of contact with another time, place or moment. How can we re-conceive of memory and thus ageing through a non-anthropocentric and non-linear lens? Using materiality as an anchor and foregrounding an active relationship with place, ecological roots or ‘environmental inheritance.’ ‘The feel of the tiniest latch has remained in our hands,’ is a line from Bachelards Poetics of Space, I use this line as a provocation for writing which investigates the intimate synergy between bodies and ‘environment’: “in which the human is always intermeshed with the more than human world.’’ (Alaimo: 2010) Format: The performance lecture will be approximately 40 minutes long, the format of the talk and small objects used mean that it is suitable for an intimate audience of 12 -21 people at a time. The performance lecture will be followed by a facilitated dialogue focusing on key themes within and responses to the work. ‘I have seen Emma’s performance talk twice, both times in her home kitchen. The scenery of domesticity, the familiar objects, the confined space, proximity of the audience to Emma herself, all contribute to the success of delivery. I love how Emma saves, salvages, magnifies and shrinks stories, objects and songs to expand our perceptions and emotions.’ Anna Keleher, Artist. Walker. Writer. ‘Emma recently shared some of her recent research with me and I was impressed by her investigation into memoir and particularly her thoughts on the impact of time on the body, memory, objects and place. I was also interested in her intention to present this work performatively and the way she planned to use to text and objects in this presentation’. Dr Barbara Bridger, Director. Dramaturg. Performance Writer.

Speakers for this event

  • Emma Bush

    Emma Bush

    Emma Bush works in the field of art and ecology through performance, site-specific walks, writing and workshops. Her practice maps processes of sensory exchange between ourselves and others, including places, species, systems and elements. Fields, Village Walk, and City Walk emphasised careful placement of attention, listening, co-species interdependence and playful reverence. Emma is currently making PhD research into memory shared across bodies, times and places and is a Lecturer in Fine Art at Plymouth University. Emma’s practice makes spaces for interdisciplinary dialogue through a series of research gatherings; ‘warm up’ explores embodied approaches for attending to internal and external landscapes. Using various modes of listening and attention the practice aims to generate spaciousness in form and process opening spaces for rest, repair, and recovery. Recently Emma has been making; ‘Night Walk,’ exploring how we use our bodies as tools for sensory navigation. Emma is currently an Associate Artist at Coombe Farm, a rural retreat centre in Dittisham, Devon and Research Associate with RANE (Research in Art, Nature and Environment.)