Art by Emily Short: National Art Exhibit (USA)
My work explores relationships humans have with animals and other parts of the natural world. In this, I also contemplate the similarities between humans and other animals, especially perceived differences. I say “perceived” because I do not think humans are so disparate from other organisms. I express the similarities I see by portraying and juxtaposing human, animal, and plant figures in similar positions as bodies of life and change. The differences I emphasize deal with the emotional complexity that I see as being idiosyncratic to the human species. These can be seen in the human forms in my imagery, which are frequently engaged in some form of emergence or expulsion, often symbolic of a growth or overflow of emotion.
Biology has always fascinated me, and growing up on a livestock farm with an array of animals supplemented that fascination and allowed me to witness the mercurial nature of a living being in a greater capacity than other people. An interest in mythology, particularly creation myths, has helped generate a setting and characters to express the dichotomy and similitude between humans and animals. Inspirations for the emotional distinctions were taken from my own sentiments and self-exploration. All these subjects of research were amalgamated in an attempt to create imagery that was surreal, visceral, and intimate.