Interview: artist and GSA graduate Emma Ewan discusses working in Glasgow
'The intentions of artists and artist-led spaces are right here, people are making and showing art because that’s what they want to do'
Emma Ewan graduated from Glasgow School of Art in 2012, since then she has participated in Glasgow Open House, Bristol Art Weekender and a graduate residency at Hospitalfield Arts. Ewan is currently exhibiting at Art Rooms in Cockenzie House and in September she will begin a two-month ‘micro residency’ at the Edinburgh Sculpture Workshop.
A lot has happened for you since graduating – how have you found the transition from art school to working independently?
I took six months out from making [work] after I left GSA, which gave me some time to find my feet before trying to get the momentum going again. You have to find a way to juggle everything while paying the bills and I’m still figuring it out! Recently I’ve been making work with shows in mind, so it’s easy to lose thinking and testing time. I’m thankful for residencies that help you find that space and critical input again.
Why did you decide to stay in Glasgow?
I feel at home in Glasgow, there is a big (but also small?) and supportive arts community here. I got involved with the Telfer Gallery early on which helped me understand a bit more about how it works here and it introduced me to lots of wonderful people that do all sorts of different things. It helped that most of my pals stuck around. The intentions of artists and artist-led spaces are right here, people are making and showing art because that’s what they want to do.
What are your plans for the ESW micro residency?
I’m spending some time getting back to the research side of things. I’m looking into the similarities and differences between the prop and the art object – in terms of authenticity, material and use value, as well as their relationship to narrative, the stage, and the audience. I’ll be thinking about the role of the audience, how they might be passive spectators or active performers.
Emma Ewan's Modular Manner is part of Black Cube Collective's Art Rooms exhibition at Cockenzie House until Sun 28 Sep.