My parents owned a small construction company called WEDLON Inc, an acronym for Work-Every-Day-for-Little-Or-Nothing. We moved regularly, following the work. As a child, I learned to link identity with work and accept the insecurity that this brought. The connection of labor to creation is carried into my artwork. I build my pieces slowly over many months. Even small drawings are repeatedly built-up, sanded, and collaged until their fragile existence feels inevitable. My current work consists of large monochromatic drawings and wall sculptures built from the accumulation of lines of paint and graphite, small pieces of wood stapled together, or plaster blocks. I base my forms on figures in historical paintings and drawings. I am interested in the idea that the work's emotional content can come through the labor of making and can exist without the obvious figurative narrative.
Emily Gherard (b. 1979, United States) is best known for her process-based work built from the accumulation of repetitive marks. Gherard earned her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, and an MFA from the University of Washington Seattle, WA. She received the 2021 Joan Mitchell Fellowship, a 2006 PONCHO Special Recognition Award from the Seattle Art Museum, and the 2014 GAP Grant from Art Trust. She has participated in exhibitions at The Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, WA, The Whatcom Museum, Bellingham, WA, and The Henry Art Gallery, Seattle, WA. In addition, her work can be found in numerous collections, such as the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Swedish Medical Center, and Microsoft Permanent Collection. Gherard currently lives and works in Seattle, Washington.
For more on Gherard's work, check out this recent interview through the Joan Mitchell Foundation.