Emma Christina Lucia Rochester PhD

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Emma Christina Lucia Rochester. Untitled 2017. Embroidery, custom designed uphostery weignt cotton of pilgrimage to Saintes-Maries de la Mer, Camargue, France 2015-2016, velvet, cotton, cord and stuffing, photo courtesy Carl Warner.

The Embodied Artefact: A Nomadic Approach to Gendered Sites of Reverence through an

Interdisciplinary Art Practice Description, Griffith University, Brisbane, Australia

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Emma Christina Lucia Rochester. 2017. Digitised emrbroidery designs.

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Emma Christina Lucia Rochester. In Her Hands, installation view, 2017. Digitised emrbroidery banners.

Photo credit: Carl Warner

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Emma Rochester, Documentation of Sculptural Fibre Forms of Women on Pilgrimage with Emphasis on Vaginal Motifs in Reference to 1970s Core Feminist Imagery for the Exhibition “In Her Hands” 2017, Custom-designed print on upholstery weight cotton and silk crepe, block colour cotton material, synthetic hair, and haberdashery thread, dimensions variable.

Photo credit: Carl Warner

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Emma Christina Lucia Rochester. In Her Hands, Installation views, 2017

Photo credit: Carl Warner

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Emma Christina Lucia Rochester. Mystic Roses 2017. Resin and earth pigments.

Photo credit: Carl Warner

Emma Rochester, Documentation of Amulets and Talismans consisting of Three Dimensional Mudras and Yoniroses on the raised platform in the exhibition space of “In Her Hands” 2017, epoxy resin, pigments and colour dye, dimensions variable. Photo courtesy of Carl Warner.

 

Thesis Abstract: This doctoral project, The Embodied Artefact: A Nomadic Approach to Gendered Sites of Reverence through an Interdisciplinary Art Practice, moves beyond normative understandings of pilgrimage, God, and artistic scholarly research. Using a contemporary art lens, I travelled in a long durational performance to a multitude of international pilgrimage sites where God-as-Woman is, or has previously been, revered and respected. By moving towards and experiencing not just one destination but many, I have challenged the traditional paradigm of pilgrimage. In doing so, I have undergone a meta-experience whereby visitations to these psycho-spiritual terrains came together as a composite of embodied experiences. This blurring of boundaries seeks to go beyond the particularities of one newly revised gendered site of reverence to consider a process of pilgrimage that moves into and becomes nomadism, thereby developing significant new understandings across the fields of contemporary art practice and pilgrimage studies

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Inside the embroidered outline of the scallop shell a different scene is depicted on each banner. This inner territory features a womanly amorphous form in a variety of landscapes, using archetypal symbolism that speaks to the central core visual vocabulary generated by early second wave feminists to represent concepts relating to God-as-Woman. More specifically this 1960s and 1970s Goddess aesthetic includes references to caves, spirals, venus shells, bees, tunnels, the ocean and water in all forms. These motifs are dispersed across the banners and make up the scenery in which the female form undertakes her pilgrimage.

For my final exhibition my intention is that viewers feel as if they are inserted into an assemblage of forms that beckon, swirl, and/or move. Many different mediums are combined to create a synthesis between forms: an oracular combination of bronze, textile, video, and synthetic sculpture. The viewer is invited to perambulate through the gallery, moving between groups of cast hands and among soft, amorphous abstractions of women in states of devotion.

 

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