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In Emma Talbot’s world, her work traverses fiction and real-life and presents itself in paintings, drawings, sculptures and installations. Her Step Into Love exhibition at Domabaal Gallery featured large graphic novel style paintings. Not unlike storyboards, incorporating stacked boxes surrounded by contouring lines and decorative patterning. Within her segmented artworks, Talbot paints word sequences, featuring lines from song titles and poetry. Resembling a series of kilim rugs or sections of wallpapered rooms from the 70’s. The main and recurring protagonist, is a faceless cartoonesque female, who uncannily sports the same stripey hair as Talbot herself.


The stars of the show for me were her seductive sculptures of body parts, specifically genitalia, hair, haunches, hips and lips. Her provocative poses reminiscent of the fabric sculptures of Dorothea Tanning and unfinished versions of Louise Bourgeois. Sprouting voluptuously out beneath the textured testicles were a pair of velvet limbs, the bulging bollocks constrained within what looked like a cockring. Talbot depicts the trials of her day to day life and sexual encounters with a charming openness. Highly erotic and alluring, her work is deeply personal as if one is reading straight from her private diary.


Having just made my collaged wall chart for the post graduate forum, seeing Talbot’s use of contouring lines, imagery and hand painted words immediately struck a chord with me. As did her sculptures, which she refers to as ‘things’, a prompt to look into making more 3D pieces in my own practice, using fabric and stitch.


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