CAMDEN, Emma; Sculpture: Cold waters
Emma Camden was born in Southsea, England. In 1987 Camden enrolled in the glass studies program at Sunderland Polytechnic and received a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours) from the University of Sunderland in 1990. In 1991 she migrated to New Zealand where she lectured at the Carrington Polytechnic from 1992 to 1993, and the Waikato Polytechnic in 1994. In 1994 and 1996 Camden worked with fellow cast glass artist Ann Robinson (also represented in the Queensland Art Gallery's Collection) and explored the techniques of glass casting. Since 1992 Camden has regularly exhibited her work in New Zealand, the United States, and Australia. Smaller works (such as that in the collection of the Wagga Wagga City Art Gallery) have utilised the lost-wax technique.
Camden endeavours to express a satirical viewpoint of life by using universal symbols such as the teapot and the ship, which she intentionally transforms into non-functional forms. She states: 'These hollow vessels encapsulate your dreams, trapped by the physical glass, but translucent, allowing only your thoughts to enter.'(1) In the work Sculpture: Cold waters the lip of the vase has been transformed into a huge wave which will finally sink the floundering ship. This fate was incurred by many ships in the dangerous southern oceans and, indeed, by our dreams and aspirations when swamped by the cold waters of reality.
1. Camden, Emma [artist's statement] in Bowling along, Savode Gallery, Brisbane, June 1996.