The work: Emma Pinsent, Gilt, 2020. Paper pulp, adhesive, papier-mâché, plaster, plywood, steel wire and acrylic paint, 112 x 67 x 16cm.
Fascinated by the historical uses of paper-pulp and plaster, Emma Pinsent’s expanded sculpture practice often combines the real with the fantastical. In Gilt, Emma playfully reinterprets a gilded Georgian mirror made of Carton Pierre (a kind of papier-mâché used in the plasterwork of Georgian buildings during the 18th and 19th centuries) she found scrolling through auction house Sothebys’ online catalogue. “The work serves to reconsider our relationship to antiquated structures,” she tells, “by dissolving the original into a kind of bodily, theatrical and otherworldly prop.” By reimaging this mirror, a materially and historically valuable article of vanity, Emma playfully challenges our definition and value of the history and its treasures.