Emmett Walsh uses text, print, installation and video to explore issues of colonial annexation, dependency and subsidisation. By combining heterogeneous, seemingly unrelated elements in one piece, Walsh challenges the viewer to create connections and further meaning through association.
During his residency at Greatmore, Walsh will work with materials collected on a visit to St. Helena, the island where Napoleon was imprisoned in 1815. The island is one of the most isolated places in the world and the second oldest British colony. Once regarded as a place of great strategic interest because of its location on the former eastern trade routes, St. Helena's identity is now being re-defined by it's tourist potential, with its first airport currently being built.
Emmet's project Bastard Gum, borrows its name from a plant endemic to St. Helena. From this botanical angle the artist aims to investigate the island's position within the Commonwealth but, in a more direct way, he also comments on the threat to local ecology by an influx of invasive botanical species as a consequence of a growing number of visitors.
Emmett Walsh was born in London in 1982, where he lives and works. Recent exhibitions include Enders 6: I Wonder What Robert Barry Is Thinking Right Now, Enders Gallery, London (2009); Antananarivo, (with Jochen Plogsties) 101, Brooklyn, New York (2009); Stems, Cape Town School of Photography, South Africa (2009); i Publications Issue 1, Launch event, CCA Bookfair, Glasgow (2009); Place03: Pastoral, Park Circus, Glasgow (2008); And So It Goes, Artnews Projects, Berlin (2008).
About Greatmore Studios
Greatmore Studios were set up in 1998 in Woodstock, Cape Town to provide work space for mid-career artists from a cross section of Cape Town communities. Two of the studios are reserved for visiting artists from other parts of South Africa and abroad.