Emily Bates
Weight of Snow I & II, Falls of Peace, 2003

Inkjet prints, silver gelatin print and silk organdie garland

Emily Bates’ artistic practice explores the sense of vulnerability, isolation and sometimes desire inherent in the human condition. An interest in cultural traditions particularly human relations, spirituality and mythology, pervades her work. Attending to people and their actions as much as to the landscapes they are surrounded by, she subtly highlights the human relationship to the land.

Work produced in Sapporo, Japan during the winter of 2002-03 continued this fascination with the landscape, looking both at physical and emotional, interior and exterior landscapes.
Research and explorations lead to references of specific sites of natural beauty reputedly chosen as exit points from this life, by people intent on ending their lives. One such location is a waterfall on the outskirts of Sapporo called Heijwano taki, or Falls of Peace. The experience of this journey redirected the focus towards a personal, and perhaps more accessible dialogue. Rather than pursuing the complex issues surrounding suicide, particularly within a foreign culture, the discussion centred more on the duality of death: the grief alongside the celebration of the life. Subsequent work included Falls of Peace, a party garland made from translucent black fabric. The two ends of the form are hung from opposite corners points near the ceiling in a room. The lengths cascade downwards onto the floor, where it meanders river-like. It is at once descriptive of the landscape, and melancholic in its celebration of life and our ultimate departure. Our emotive interior space combined with a sense of the physical environment around us.


Installation documentation courtesy Galerie Paul Andriesse, Amsterdam.

Falls of Peace V.2 is housed within the collection of Nottingham Castle Museum, England.
With thanks to the Contemporary Art Society.


 Weight of Snow II (uncropped)     
 Weight of Snow I