“The artist alone sees spirits. But after he has told of their appearing to him, Everybody sees them”. Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
Internationally acclaimed sculptress Emma Rodgers is known for the boldness, the power and the alchemy of her creations. Fascinated by whatever it is that constitutes life force, Rodgers’ work is always united by her attempt to depict the essential energy field propelling all life – human and animal.
Born in Liverpool in 1974, Emma Rodgers lives and works in the United Kingdom.
In 1998, she graduated with a Masters in Plastic Arts from the University of Wolverhampton, with a special distinction for her ceramic sculptures. In 1996, Rodgers was awarded the First Prize by London’s Victoria & Albert Museum at the Exhibition Ceramic Contemporary II. Since then, her sculptures are often exhibited at the Victoria & Albert Museum, at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, as well as in many galleries and contemporary art fairs in the U.K., the U.S., France and Belgium.
In 2010, Liverpool’s National Museum, also known as the Walker Art Gallery, curated her first solo exhibition. Emma Rodgers is a member of the prestigious Chelsea Arts Club and of the Crafts Potters Association. In collaboration with Belgium and British curator Dominique Markham, Beirut’s Alice Mogabgab Gallery has organized a solo exhibition of Rodgers’ sculptures in London in 2004. The Lebanese gallery has also exhibited the artist’s works at Paris Grand Palais in April 2012 and in Beirut in June 2012.Spiritus is Rodgers’ first solo exhibition in the Lebanese capital.
Emma Rodgers’ technique consists in working from blueprints, all the while capturing the movements and gestures of her models. Her human and animal sketches ornate the walls of her workshop. They are hung between images of wildlife and a multitude of studies related to nature’s transformations due to mankind.
Her dismembered sculptures are filled with great emotions, like a being struggling for his survival. Her unfeathered falcon erects like the renaissance of a Phoenix, her bear continues to move forward despite its dismemberment. Rodgers’ sense of mutilation gives to her artistic beings a symbolic and unique value. She provokes this artistic transfer by revolving around Life and Death, Renaissance and a constant feeling of motion. Rodgers’ representation of woman embodies life by protecting her offspring. But what makes the artist so original is her way of combining the fragility of porcelain with the sensuality of colours along with the determination and strength of her gestures.Spiritus means:
1: breath, breathing
2: spirit, ghost
4: pride, arrogance
Emma Rodgers’ exhibition curated by Beirut’s Alice Mogabgab Gallery will fall into two parts. The first dedicated to Ancient tragic mythology with a double representation of Icarus fighting against his fate, along with Sisyphus resisting his unending punishment, as well as Philomela’s shameful rape and her cruel revenge. The first panel of the exhibition is also formed of a special focus on stunning nymph Beroe, daughter of Venus and Adonis, born on the shores of Rawche, whose untied maritime passion was defined by her sacred wedding with Olympian deity Poseidon in Mina el Dalieh’s port. Rodgers’ sculpture of the goddess blends sensibility with symbolism and holds Cupid’s arrows piercing the nymph’s heart.
The second panel of the exhibition centres on surviving figures. The gallery presents peculiar human bodies imprisoned in their vanities and inner limits, along with wild serene animals. The combination of human and animal life transforms the gallery into a hub of pristine enchantment.
Spiritus is mankind’s resisting strength towards destruction, violence and oppression. It is the divine and the wild in each human “Anima.”