Emily Mann is a senior at the University Of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI, USA pursuing a BFA in Art & Design.
My works feature surreal landscapes / environments which resonate emotionally and psychologically. Geometry and symmetry abound, and images are often structured using dizzying yet highly strict systems of perspective. I set specific visual and compositional ‘rules’ for myself with each piece, which guide my decision-making and act as a sort of pre-planned comfort throughout the arduous creative process. I see perspective (where objects seem to go back in space), as well as elements positioned vertically within a composition, as pseudo-timelines that imply a narrative as they progress back and/or downward. My work reflects intermingling feelings of hope and terror in the face of rapidly approaching futures. I often employ symbolic elements such as the sea, which to me represents both menacing vastness and the exhilarating pursuit of the unknown. I frequently include recognizable subjects such as figures, ships, bodies of water, or the sky, but I also like to place abstract forms or shapes within these spatial/perspectival contexts. These abstractions respond to the medium or material from which they are made. I am preoccupied with visual dichotomies of order and chaos, rational and irrational, geometric and organic, which are realized as surreal spaces that one could imagine themself inhabiting. Creating these landscapes is my way of processing my place in a world that is bigger and more complex than I could ever understand. They are a form of escape, as well as a reflection of my own worldview and experiences. They keep their secrets as much as they reveal them, and the imagination of the viewer is just as important as my own – each person will ask different questions and come to different conclusions.