Emma Neuberg’s Drapes is seen here in its first iteration at Plymouth Gallery, at Plymouth College of Art, in southwest England in 2016. It represents her first large-scale installation using fabric as a volumeric and structural material. It measures 11.5 x 13 x 16 feet (3.5m x 4m x 5m) and each drape combines graphic lines, drawing, complex mathematical repeating patterns and digital printing. The images originate from a collection of pastel drawings placed into repeat by the artist and printed large on to canvas.
The artist’s intention is to carve out a powerful yet tactile cuboid in the space. The use and scale of flags in 1930s Nazi Germany featured as part of Neuberg’s research into communicating a quality of authoritarianism, unilateralism, confinement and menace.
First commissioned by curator Hannah Rose at Plymouth Gallery for their Textiles Season, Neuberg wanted to show how tapestry can be developed into formal structures that transpose abstract drawings into compelling, confrontational and transmuting environments.
Neuberg calls her foundational pastel drawings Grid Drawings and they convey the artist’s concept of ‘the thwarted voice in society’ and how this subject appears to her. Denial, deception and unconscious behaviors are the cultural themes that lie at the heart of her work and creative enquiry.
The Plymouth Gallery solo show was open to the public 10th January – 23rd February 2016.
Photo credit: Sarah Packer