Edgelands exhibition of stunning ceramics by Emilie Taylor opens next week

Emilie Taylor’s latest exhibition, Edgelands, opens at Gallery Oldham on the 10 June. Emilie, who has recently been tipped by the Contemporary Art Society as an artist to watch http://www.contemporaryartsociety.org/news/artist-to-watch/emilie-taylor/, has made this new work over an 18 month period. Her work is much sought after by collectors and Gallery Oldham expects the exhibition to be a sell-out.

Emilie Taylor is interested in the points where contrasts occur. In her new body of work, Edgelands, she explores the lives of the young women who exist on the edge of society, and on the edge of womanhood. They live between the urban and the rural, between childhood and adulthood.

Emilie grew up in Sheffield, a city set in the hills, where the countryside never feels that far away. This exhibition’s first venue in the borough of Oldham seems fitting, with its mix of urban townscape that is part of Manchester and Saddleworth’s Yorkshire countryside.

“Taylor wants us to focus on the disparity between haves and the have-nots and, implicitly, between
the pastoral and the post-industrial.”
-Lesley Jackson ‘Satire Slipped In’ CRAFTS 2015

In the wake of the Rotherham and Rochdale grooming scandals Emilie wanted to commemorate those women who spoke out and whose stories were heard. She had worked in frontline mental health/drug services for ten years and was acutely aware of the stories which go unheard. The young women depicted in this exhibition are ordinary young women doing the things which ordinary young women do – things that Emilie and her friends did in their youth. In the tale of Persephone and Demeter goddesses become mortal, but the classical forms of Emilie’s ceramics seem to elevate the lives of mortals to the same level of interest as goddesses.

The theme of fertility runs through this exhibition in a number of ways – in the story of Demeter the goddess of harvest/fertility and her daughter Persephone, in the fields of corn on the ceramics, traditionally used to decorate Harvest jugs, and not least because during the two year preparations for this exhibition Emilie became a mother herself.

The exhibition is open at Gallery Oldham 10am-5pm, Monday to Saturday, until 9 September. It has been commissioned by Gallery Oldham with support from Arts Council England and will tour to the Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent, The Craft Study Centre in Farnham and The Williamson Art Gallery in Birkenhead throughout 2017-2018. All work is for sale.

For information on how to get to Gallery Oldham please see http://www.galleryoldham.org.uk/visitor-information/