Emily Loughlin’s ceramic and mixed-media sculptures reflect a research-based practice examining biological colonization, growth and symbiosis over time. By referencing organisms that outlast all their neighbors, such as California’s many thousand-year-old Bristlecone Pine trees and ever-regenerating clonal species – such as Utah’s Pando Aspen Clone – her works emerge from the global trend towards longer-term, generational thinking that necessarily accompanies any discourse on climate change and the Anthropocene. Built from stoneware, porcelain, and locally dug clay, these works are designed to inhabit the geologic lifespans of the organisms she studies, and imagine an impossibly far-future viewer.
In addition to a meditation on time and timelessness, her focus on organisms that are both colonies and colonizers of their respective environments aims to visualize the generative forces present in nature, and contextualize humanity’s near-complete colonization of our own environment. In particular, Emily’s ongoing research of the 100-acre Pando Aspen clone has resulted in a series of abstract studies depicting growth patterns of branches, spiking up from an underground root system. Through her residency with Friends of Pando, she is working to expand upon this series to create larger-scale tiled works that will map the site’s topography and visualize the tree’s change over time.
Since receiving her B.A. in Sculpture from Sarah Lawrence College in 2015, Emily’s practice has fluctuated between dedicated studio time and intensive ecological research. Her works are available through Armature projects in New York and through Jessie Edwards Gallery in Rhode Island, and have been included in exhibitions in New York, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Louisiana, and online.
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