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Emily Hermant: Insider Series at Burrard Arts Foundation

In a contemporary setting, it is becoming increasingly difficult to divorce ourselves from technology. Produced in BAF’s Artist Residency program, Emily Hermant’s new show till your voice catches the thread speaks to the yearning for human intimacy that can occur as we coexist more and more intimately with our technological surroundings. In these new works, Hermant examines this notion through woven static emulations and textile-like castings. 

The predominant focus of her pieces centres on interpersonal communication and gendered labour. In combination with her formal training in fibre and material studies, these give rise to a materially comprehensive practice that plays with form and line. Whether it be hardwood bent into muted curves, or exposed electrical wires recontextualized as fabric, many of her material choices can be seen to emulate textile surfaces in a sculptural way. In What’s your favourite posish?, 2010, Hermant manipulates wood into what she describes as large-scale sculptures reminiscent of thread (1). This line of work continues into a 2014 exhibit very aptly named Spatial Drawings. While till your voice catches the thread may not occupy dimensional space in the same way as many of her previous works, the entire collection generates a more acute intimacy for the viewer to experience.  

Whether comprised of or cast from these discarded technological fragments, Hermant’s woven visualisations strike a sense of disbelief into the viewer that this backbone of technology – the wire – could be transformed into such a sensitive depiction of analogue data. While till your voice catches the thread may draw us to recognize how technology can be devoid of emotional intimacy, the works simultaneously speak to the physical closeness that we experience in our interaction with smart objects. 

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