Emily Neufeld

Photos Jon Vincent/VANDOCUMENT

Dust to Dust

Soil, plexiglass

Layers of dirt accumulated in a dark space around buried Plexiglas towers.

Layers of memory and traces of psychic history accumulate in particular domestic spaces, and Emily’s work investigates that lived history through the dialogue between the materials she uses and the spaces she creates. The materials are building materials: concrete, drywall, wood, insulation and glass, as well as dirt. The way the materials interact — the interplay of different physical textures as well as the associations they precipitate in the viewer’s mind — is very important to the work. Emily also uses photographs in her artwork, often physically manipulating them to add a sculptural element to an otherwise two-dimensional object.

The work begs the questions: Can a space ever be empty? What fills the spaces between the walls? Where does the content of a house end? At the doorway? In the yard? In the prairie itself? Do some spaces look in while others look out?

Curator: Johnny Sopotiuk


Emily was born and raised in Alberta, but now lives and works in Vancouver. Her prairie roots run deep, though the West Coast seems better suited to her ideologies.