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Emily Evans - BLTP

NO-WAY: Emily Evans

The artist and South Kilburn Studios / Bare Bones contributor speaks to us about her upcoming part in a group show at NO-WAY in the basement of Jaguar Shoes

Set to feature at the upcoming NO-WAY exhibition at east London's Jaguar Shoes, artist Emily Evans explores subject matters as diverse as divorce, death and religion in her work, including 'The Holy Death' – looking to Mexican religious iconography. Besides heading up interactive studio space, South Kilburn Studios, with upcoming shows delving into film, music, design & illustration, she will be exhibiting her first ever animation piece made from her collages for the NO-WAY exhibition this March.

I like working on things with strong content when I can... apart from art I was always into psychology. I like trying to get to the root of issues and then trying to show feelings and experiences through my work

Set to collaborate with Broken Fingaz Crew for NO-WAY for their first exhibition in the UK at the Old Truman Brewery, Evans has also worked with cult art collective Bare Bones, and has recently embarked on an ongoing project for the One Handed Music label.

Dazed Digital: Tell us a bit about yourself. What drew you to illustration?
Emily Evans: I was kind of brought up on art on my mum's side and music on my dad's (mainly modern Jazz), so my main loves are art and music. I collect records and make dark collage paint things. I've always been into making things, my family is largely creative, which is nice.

DD: From gender inequalities, divorce, and death, your work seems to tackle a lot of dark and heavy themes. What messages do you want your work to transmit?
Emily Evans: I think more than anything I just like working on things with strong content when I can. Apart from art I was always really into psychology, I like trying to get to the root of issues and then trying to show feelings and experiences through my work. I've always tended to move towards dark subjects, it's just what gets me going I suppose. I've been working on a few music projects recently too and it's been really nice to try the same process but with music. Most of the artists have been pretty open so I've had some freedom.

DD: Can you tell us more about the NO-WAY expo and the '2012 Phenomenon'? Where did this theme come from and what can we expect from the expo? What's up with the post-apocalyptic bunker?
Emily Evans: Well, we talked about doing a NO-WAY show for a while, and when we decided on Jaguar shoes, the basement seemed to have a feeling that we felt we could work with. The apocalyptic idea just seemed kind of natural at the time, there's a welcoming sense of impending doom we felt would be cool about. I think we liked the idea of a bunker as you always figure if you were confined in a space for so long your ideas would be quite distorted and you wouldn't quite know what was happening, had happened or be able to tell the difference between truth and reality. We like the confusion of an apocalyptic bunker, a condensed idea of what the apocalypse is or could be.

We all work in different ways so it'll be exciting to see the various interpretations. I'm working with the present being the end…we're already there. I'm reading Michel Foucault Madness and Civilization, basically if civilisation hasn't turned you mad in this world, there's something wrong with you. My animations are going to be showing the idea of how our brains are controlled so much now to cope with what we are being turned into.

DD: What about your first animation? What made you go in this direction, and how has it challenged you?
Emily Evans: I'm working on my first animation for a music video as well as the animations for the exhibition. I think the music video is gonna come out a bit later than the ones for the exhibition. I've started working on animations mainly due to demand, people kept asking if I could make animations out of my work. It's been great having a new challenge trying a completely new medium, having no experience, it's definitely a been learning curve, I'm really enjoying it.

DD: What are you most excited about next?
Emily Evans: Well we have the studios confirmed for another year so we're just thinking that's long enough to get some really exciting projects on the go. Now NO-WAY have worked together doing joint shows I think we are going to look forward to doing it again. I'm working on the artwork for a year long series of mixes for the label which I'm massively excited about, working on artwork for music that inspires me just gets me ridiculously happy.

Opening 29 March at Jaguar Shoes Film Gallery