MoodFilm from Emma Winter’s ‘A Trail of Tales - Chapter I
LE COOL - ‘Absolutely hypnotising’
Behind a cosy South London pub lurks a strange, magical world filling an almost secret gallery - a frozen whirlwind of pages from old books, a tangled structure like a tree growing through both levels of the gallery, whispering voices filling the air, like furtive spirits. It’s like being lost in a deep wood from a fairy tale- or, as artist Emma Winter would say, a ‘faerytale’. And that is exactly what her immersive installation is about - how the ancient tales told to kids down the ages, map imagination onto desires. Okay, there’s more to it than that, like Freud and stuff, but take it from me, this is absolutely hypnotising. Not Grimm, but maybe a little creepy… Oh, and you’re invited to contribute a dream. After this show, the Trail will move to other locations, and maybe your dream too. / Herbert Wright
Two floors of a hidden little gallery were transformed into a treelike world using the pages from 100’s of neglected books. Guests entered the smoky space filled with the sounds of layered & fragmented tales. The door was locked behind so that no more than 4 guests were in the space together at once. Shoes were left at the door and slippers provided so as not to damage the paper woodland floor that guest crept into. A voiceless character shared the space and although she was aware of others presence she had no ability to directly communicate. A timber staircase led to the treetops where the tree had burst through the ceiling below.
Tank is proud to present London based artist Emma Winter’s debut solo exhibition in London. Winter’s artistic practice spans installation, sculpture, interactive art, set design, art direction, curation, and performance. For A Trail of Tales Winter has created a unique installation piece at Tank that will instinctively engage and envelope the viewer. Using various locations across London, visitors can embark on a journey that will start at Tank and take them into the heart of London’s theatre district, and on to other secret locations across the city. What exactly will happen is part of the mystery and those taking part will have to follow clues to get there.
Winter’s work somehow always leads her to a fantasy realm where one or several stories merge, unravel or follow a path. Partly attributed to an overactive imagination, which inspires her reality, she explores how life is formed from fantasy and fantasy from life in many of her bold installations. With Chapter I:Through the Portal, Winter’s intention is for the viewer to be sucked into the piece as if crossing a threshold. This first instalment is a whirlwind that takes the shape of multiple forms, each unique to individual imagination and perception, drawing up random literary extracts and tumbling them out reconfigured.
Used as a purveyor of morals, warnings, ideals and goals, it has been claimed that faerytales have a profound impact on child development, especially in learning how to overcome psychological conflicts. Many scholars and psychoanalysts have explored links with, sexual repression, gender roles, collective consciousness and Freud’s theory of wish fulfilment. In most classic faerytales the wish is achieved and the happy ever after follows, yet in the multiplicity of real life, one wish is replaced with another as desires are met, lost or replaced. Winter believes the primary function of such stories is to act as a facilitator for continuously building a contemporary version from ones own desires. Thus, she aims to explore the boundary between imagination, existence and experience through creating her own illusions while inviting others to visit and momentarily make it their own.
The installation itself mimics the historical evolution of the faerytale and the vessels of it’s distribution simultaneously. From wood to paper, from aural whisperings to printed literature, from individual books to multitudes of pages sewn together, the recycling of both the story and material are dominant themes. Even the books were saved from a skip and will go onto be transformed in the future.