Submerged in Echoes is a collection of works produced right here under the roof of An Chultúrlann. As associate artist with us, Berkery converted our former Seomra Éalaine into a working artist studio and immersed herself in the life and language of the building. The experience of the process of learning the Irish language has heavily influenced the artist’s work and this is being expressed in a variety of ways from paintings, to works on paper, to text based screen prints.
Challenging both artist and viewer, many of the abstract artworks are produced with a limited palette. There is no singular reading of these paintings and the artist plays on contrasts, dual meanings and interpretations. The paintings are the way the artist communicates the complexities of the emotional and cognitive responses we have to our identities, lives, environment, social and political landscapes. She encourages us to look at and interpret things differently. To seek a deeper meaning. These paintings require time to reveal themselves, to reveal new elements, thoughts, concepts and emotions.
‘Painting is for me, a mirroring back to the world my experience of it. It is how I process life. I swirl and bleed and drip and dribble and pour and stain and spatter. My process is a metaphor for our lives. The marks we leave on this world and the marks it leaves on and within us.’
Emma Berkery is a Belfast based artist, living and working in the city since 2004. Much of that time has been spent in the community of West Belfast. She has exhibited extensively throughout Ireland, is represented by the Nicholas Gallery in the North, and has had additional showcases in India and the UK. The artist has also been heavily involved with creative art education about which she is passionate, and has developed and co-developed creative resources and training in visual art, drama and storytelling for teachers, artists and families. Berkery is a guest speaker in the School of Arts, English and Languages at Queens, exhibition coordinator with An Chultúrlann and frequently works as a creative consultant within the arts and education sector. www.emmaberkery.com