Emily Robards is an artist and surreal poet living in Limerick County. She works in a variety of media, including printmaking, photography, sculpture, and painting. Her practice incorporates the themes of home, love, nature and the self. The work links together the spiritual and natural world, with a strong influence of innocence and the uncanny; it is concept and process driven with symbolic emphasis. Here she talks about her work ‘Colour me Happy’, why she prefers film over digital, and using photography to document her everyday.
“I always carry a 35mm automatic camera with me whenever I leave the house, either going into town or on various trips. It is loaded with 35mm colour film. I usually use black and white film when I am working on projects but wanted to carry a colour camera with me as a form of sketchbook.”
“I prefer film over digital as it prevents me from over clicking; I have to step back and think about what I am doing and what I take, as I only have a few shots to work with at a time. Film is a good way to focus and observe your subjects, it leaves a lot to chance and there is a real excitement as well as disappointment when the film is finally developed.”
“I use the colour photos as an exploration of my everyday, to acknowledge whatever catches my eye, making me more in-tuned with my surroundings and myself as an artist. The photos are of my world and life of the past seven years or so, it is a small world mostly taken at home, by the sea, wandering in graveyards or fields and occasionally visiting family in America; little liminal experiences.”
“It is usually colour or shapes that catch my eye; Some of the photos are blurred, usually from being too close to an object, but this is ok, it is about being in the moment, a small memory captured through light on a piece of film, memory isn’t always clear, sometimes blurred.”
“It wasn’t until I started to put the photos together, creating a photo essay that I realised they formed a sort of autobiography of my life these past few years and weren’t just random shots. They show my anxieties, fears and worries, the battles I have with religion, love, life, family and home.”
“I will continue with these observations taking my little camera with me wherever I go and hopefully keep adding to the series, capturing the beauty of my everyday.”