Emma Kiely



Artist Statement

For many years Emma has played camogie, a female version of hurling, which is an Irish sport. She has acquired many bruises from playing in the goal, and time and time again she would come away from matches and trainings with new bruises varying in sizes and severity. But bruises are not just burst blood vessels that caused her pain, instead they were trophies that came from protecting the goal which only made her work harder. She would always tell the younger goalkeepers to be proud of those bruises as you put your body on the line to help lead your team to victory.

To create these bruises, Emma decided to use a form of action painting, a term now mostly associated with a group of American artists between 1940s to the early 1960s. Their approach to their painting was to embrace the physical act of painting as a crucial part of their final piece. Art critic, Harold Rosenberg first coined the term ‘action painting’ in his revolutionary article ‘The American Action Painters’, which was published in ART news in December 1952 and referred to artists such as Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Arshile Gorky, and Willem de Kooning.

When looking at bruises and the different stages of a bruise, Emma has decided to use the primary colours, red, blue, yellow, and white to create each of the colours in her work. She also uses a gloss medium, clear silicone, PVA glue, and a reduction jelly to create transparency and texture with the paint. And although her work may appear abstract at first, it is not an exact replica of a bruise but rather the idea of a bruise formed through a method of action painting.