Emily Hartley-Skudder

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Emerald Stationary Organizer, 2014 Oil On Calico 9.38"H X 13.25"W
Transparencies with Pink and Turquoise, 2014 Oil On Calico 9.38"H X 13.25"W
Cosmetic Coordinator, 2015 Oil On Calico 9.38"H X 13.25"W
Banquet with Lobster and Liquorice, 2014 Oil On Calico 13 1/4 X 9” © Emily Hartley-Skudder
Quick Facts
New Zealand
Birth year
Lives in
Works in
University of Canterbury, 2012, BFA (First Class Hons)
Representing galleries
Suite Gallery, Wellington, NZ

With a strange ability to enchant, tiny replicas of the ordinary entice us to project our fantasies onto them, accentuating a general preoccupation with recreating aspects of our everyday lives. It is this representation of the commonplace that fascinates me, the incessant doubling of activity. Such perpetual reproduction is at the forefront of my process – found objects from ‘life’, yet already re-presented as replicas, are then assembled and photographed before being translated into painted form. 

My use of miniatures promotes the creation of the uncanny and subtly peculiar, the seemingly standard objects gradually separate from their initial reading. Suspiciously pleasant, the paintings become a generalised yet distorted reproduction of aspects of our routine existence, exalted through obsessive rendering demanding such time and care. 

The themed, decorative and ‘stock’ image is unashamedly drawn upon. The arrangements become simultaneously generic and personalised: a formula to appeal to all. With their quaint objects and ‘delightful’ bright colours, they become doubles: domestic scenes perfect for the domestic space, signalling the often unavoidable role of paintings as décor.

My photographs aspire to masquerade as ‘real’, the paintings then unsubtly masquerade as the photographs. They are still lifes, but the objects depicted are already fakes; the imitations of a supposed reality, openly embracing the deceptive act of representation.

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