Sure & Natural Flesh Blush 2018

EMILY HARTLEY-SKUDDER [b.1988 Aotearoa New Zealand]

Mixed media including oil on linen

Emily Hartley-Skudder, who graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts (First Class Honours) from Ilam School of Fine Arts, University of Canterbury in 2012, is known for her paintings, assemblages and site-specific installations. Operating within the framework of still life painting, she has an interest in everyday and found objects, concepts of representation, the domestic, and ideas of gendered, authentic and artificial experience. An obsessive collector of found objects, from doll-house furniture to vintage basins, Hartley-Skudder creates sculptural assemblages that can exist in their three-dimensional form or are translated into photorealistic oil paintings. When exhibited, these works often find a home in the faux-domestic or showroom-style installations she constructs. 

Questioning notions of public and private space, Hartley-Skudder recreates and manipulates the commonplace – turning it into something peculiar, eccentric and yet strangely familiar. She is interested in our relationship with inanimate objects, and what happens when they are turned into an artificial or re-contextualised version of themselves. In Staging Your Comeback, a tongue-in-cheek title referencing a popular makeover book for women, Hartley-Skudder has created a suite of new paintings and site-specific environments in direct response to works from the Dunedin Public Art Gallery collection. From bathrooms to formal living rooms, Staging Your Comeback asks us to question the impact of context, the role of art as a commodity, and the relationship between an authentic or constructed experience. 

+ Emily Hartley-Skudder
Staging Your Comeback 2020
Carpet, wall paint, oil on linen, pine and aluminium trim
Courtesy of the artist and Jonathan Smart Gallery

« Back to additions + alterations exhibition