Emily Allchurch reinvents Old Master paintings and produces capricci with a contemporary narrative. The purpose is to examine ideas of time and memory. Allchurch deals with the passage of time in terms of the changes within a landscape and place.
The process she uses has been explored in a BBC4 documentary “A Digital Picture of Britain” (BBC4, 2005). Emily takes us on a journey of how her astonishing collages are created. It is an intensive process, starting with her visiting a city or place and gathering an image library. The image library of hundreds of photographs is meticulously curated, images are put together to create a fictional space that is, in Emily’s words, “a journey, compressed into a single scene.” (Allchurch, 2017). Her work has a deep sense of history, ‘real life’ histories demonstrating the passage of time and blending contemporary life with what has gone before.
‘Then is Now’ at The Karin Webber Gallery showcased Allchurch’s ‘Babel London’ alongside ‘Tokyo Story’. It marks the beginning of a Hong Kong based project ‘Babel Hong Kong’. Inspired by the tradition of Chinese old master painting, Allchurch will spend several weeks in Hong Kong, researching locations and gathering photographic material. The technology used will be more sophisticated (in the documentary Emily is using an old camera phone) however the process remains. The piece will be launched in March 2018.
A Digital Picture of Britain. (2005) BBC4. 11 May 2005.
EMILY ALLCHURCH. (2017). About the artist [Online]. Available at http://www.emilyallchurch.com [Accessed 20/10/2017].
KARIN WEBBER (2017). Then Is Now Introductory Show & The Making Of Babel Hong Kong. [Online] Available at http://www.karinwebergallery.com/artists/emily-allchurch/ [Accessed 1/12/17].
Illustrations in header from www.emilyallchurch.com © Emily Allchurch.