Emma Ayers is a Toronto-based creator pursuing her BA in Creative Industries at Ryerson University. She is interested in the intersection between culture and the built and natural environment. Her work stems from a study of space and the varied ways it communicates meaning. She plans to pursue these interests in the fields of Interior Design and Urban Planning.
Dust cannot be manufactured. It needs consistent patterns of life to settle into, creating a path to be followed by highlighting the space beyond. The cultivation of culture is very similar; it carves out paths, ways of living which are unique. This piece attempts to tackle the dichotomy between “official” and cultural boundaries by portraying landscape with superimposed alternatives.
I explore the idea of culture as redefining space through the way that it spreads. Culture comes from human existence and repetition throughout a space and leaves traces. There is a virality to its spread; even the word itself can also refer to bacteria and its breeding. The spread of ideas, thoughts, and movements is through interaction and recreation, transmitting them like viruses.
The medium I chose is embroidery, a traditional pastime which has been passed down through generations and exemplifies culture being transmitted not only through space but through time. The piece represents the inextricable link between culture and environment, influencing and manipulating each other, through the link between thread and fabric. The continued repeated action of sewing alludes to the creation of culture overtime.
Embroidery is also often seen as women’s work and has associations to the private sphere and the notion of home and familiarity of place. Like culture, women’s work is often invisible. I see using embroidery as a medium to claim ownership as a feminist act because by representing land through a traditionally feminine medium, I am validating the work of women as integral to the creation of a home.