Venus With Her Interrupted Life, 2011/2012

Sarah Wilmot. Venus With Her Interrupted Life. 2011/2012

Words by Emma Rochester

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Emma Rochester. Venus With Her Interrupted Life. 2011/2012

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Emma Rochester. Venus With Her Interrupted Life. 2011/2012

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Emma Rochester. Venus With Her Interrupted Life. 2011/2012

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Emma Rochester. Fabric Design for ‘Venus with Her Interrupted Life’. Digital Image. 8x8 inches. 2011

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Emma Rochester. Photographic documentation of drawings and video still for, ‘Venus with Her Interrupted Life’. Digital Image. 2012

Emma Rochester - Revealing Feminine Landscapes : About : Vitae : Gallery : Video : News : Contact

Hot pink, sequins, spray tans, gold bikinis and crystal necklaces these are the feminine impressions of the new Cyprus, an island on the forefront of change, where an emerging Ibiza like life-style appeals to young Brits who travel to the island for cheap thrills. This pill-popping-trance-music environment overlays archaeological sites of the Temples of Aphrodite. Found both inland and along the coastal shores, these ancient sites of veneration have been either forgotten or glamorised. Is this present day cult of beauty a residue of ancient times?

Roses, maps, and sensual pink and mauve lines dominant the fabric design. Each line seen floating in the material was made by Emma Rochester whilst walking in Tamasus, an archaeological site considered to be Aphrodite’s apple grove in Hellenic myth. Meters of this hot pink Silk Crepe de Chine have been crafted into a tent like structure. The central focus of this installation, it is reminiscent of a pilgrimage tent.

The form is an action of relocation, a metaphoric act of taking a building block from the temple in Cyprus and relocating it within a Gallery – in much the same way as tourists take stones, rocks, pieces of mosaic and fragments of walls as souvenirs from archaeological sites for curiosity cabinets.

Projected onto this fabric framework is a video art work, we see three red rosy apples covered in black lines (it is these lines which were copied and pasted into the design for fabric). We see the artist's hands briefly touching one of these apples as she lays it to rest on an altar of the past. Her hand sweats, the apple sweats: This is the close proximity of heat, and land, and a place of feminine worship.

It is these ideas, which sound artist Sarah Wilmot translated into vocal form. Creating a lingering poetic response to the written words which Emma Rochester had sent from across the sea, as stimulus for the development of the sound work. To listen to the sound component of the Exhibition, please click the play button below:

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As Artist In Residence for the Cyprus College of Art, Emma Rochester mapped archaeological sites associated with the Goddess Aphrodite. Roses, maps, and sensual pink and mauve lines dominant the fabric design that resulted from these explorations of ancient sacred sites associated with the divine feminine. Each line seen floating in the material (presented here) was made by walking in Tamasus, an archaeological site considered to be Aphrodite’s apple grove in Hellenic myth.

Principally mapping lines of movement the artist draws directly onto her hands, pieces of paper and found objects – in this caseapples - as she walks around carefully selected landscapes. The act of line-marking is a form of cartographic map making. A way of centering one's self in place. The process calls for an immediate bodily response to site, as the self becomes anchored in the sensorial understanding of place through the medium of drawing.

What makes this design markedly different from Emma Rochester’s previous designs, is that the lines used for the creation of the fabric, where taken from marks made directly onto the surface of apples. Holding marker pen to the apples skin Emma Rochester circled an ancient altar in Tamasus dedicated to the Goddess Aphrodite. This altar, which dates back to Neolithic times, is still in use today with offerings of wine, oil and grain made by Cypriot residents for a good harvest. In this way the lines made by the apple have a particular quality as they respond to the shape of the apple as well as the sacred site in which the artist moves.