Memphis, TN | Painting, Sculpture, Mixed Media, Drawing, Time-based, Sound, Installation
Emily C. Thomas is an interdisciplinary artist living and working in Memphis, Amsterdam, and California. Born and raised in Memphis, she received her BFA from New York University and her MFA from UC Santa Barbara. She enjoys animals, reading, investigating mysteries, and exploring the symbolic construction of reality.
Experimenting with multiple mediums, my work explores the phenomenon of syncretism among intersecting cultures and faiths. I am especially interested in contemporary new religions and healing practices that place an emphasis on vision as a means to interact with non-human intelligences (e.g. meditation, scrying). I sympathize with animistic philosophies such as Deep Ecology, where Earth is regarded a living entity, and want to give alternative beliefs a voice using decentralized digital platforms, combating the corporate, centralized media networks.
Borrowing visual elements from (folk-)religious iconography and layering those with elements from mainstream culture, my aim is to construct believable worlds in the imagination that reveal how we fabricate reality. The medium of film, through video compositing and animation, has proven to be especially suited for approaching the animistic realities I envision. My sculptures act as complimentary metaphysical tools for navigating a present of information overload, when humanity is stretched between a future faster than the speed of light and the inertia of ancient geologic processes. Incorporating light-based images with wood, metals, minerals and plastics, these recent works negotiate the tension between the virtual and the real. Reviewing the history of visual media, I see it evolving towards a system of instantaneous transmission of living information.