Settings 2003 – 2006

Installation Images >

“The series, completed over four years, are reconstructions of well-known paintings by European Masters, each artwork digitally collaged from hundreds of photographs taken around the suburbs of London, to form a new version restaged in a contemporary idiom. I then use digital software to create a seamless collage and a convincing new ‘fictional’ space. The works are presented as large back-lit transparencies, accentuating the dramatic allusion of the pieces. In these contemporary versions, the original protagonists have been removed, shifting the focus to the background setting. They are now suggestive of theatrical backdrops or film sets, anticipating an event or perhaps recording its aftermath. What remains, however, are the residual traces of a narrative; graffiti, discarded beer cans, rubbish left after a summer picnic, road works, for sale signs, etc.”

“Whilst living in East London I became fascinated by the classical influence in the architecture in this deprived part of the city. I wanted to breathe new life into the forgotten and overlooked, by uprooting specific buildings and street furniture from their everyday surroundings and creating a new setting for them to exist in, more worthy of their classical aspirations. By elevating their status in this way, they were offered a new life of artificial romanticism, which realised both a connection and a sense of dislocation between a classical ideal and the deprived landscapes of London. This was the start of a photographic journey I continue to research and develop, paying homage to old master painting, but updating the scenes to reflect contemporary urban planning, social and environmental issues.”

Emily Allchurch and the Old Masters.pdf

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