"Confrontation, energy, curiosity, essence of a moment and interaction are the main elements that initially draw me to a new subject and are indicative of the very nature of the animals I have depicted. It is not purely an interest in animals, but the challenges of capturing the inherent nature of the subject, particularly where the movement, flexibility and power of the animal is concerned. The majority of these animals are extremely agile, able to distort from compact masses to being outstretched with tense looking limbs or with extremely strong bone structure with dramatic lines that are achieved through spines, shoulders and limbs. Also, the great sense of weight that can be achieved through masses of flesh; the tension spring and strength in muscles and the creases and folds of the skin, thus giving me a wide variety of expressions to work from one animal.
When approaching a new body of work I produce a large amount of visual research including film, photography and drawing. Sketching is particularly important as it provides me with a greater understanding of the form. The translation of drawn marks provides ideas that could not flow from photographs alone as they immediately focus my attention on the strongest elements of the pose. I aim to interpret these drawn qualities into clay and remove the work from pure representation choosing appropriate ceramic textures thus enabling a dialogue to develop between drawing and expression in clay, a jagged line in ink is re-interpreted as a torn clay edge; an arc of soft pencil becomes a soft fold. The energy of the animal and the tautness of the pose are conveyed by a distortion in the medium. I endeavour to avoid my work appearing over handled, but stretch and tear the clay often to the point when it splits and breaks to accentuate the surface. This forms an essential part of an investigation into statement by omission. Through leaving out features of the animals and focusing attention on negative space within the form I felt enabled me to convey the spirit that animates it. I also examine skeletons, which help determine the bone structure and how the animal moves by studying the joints and the overall form of the animal I wish to portray. I then add some of these sections into the piece by using found objects, for example a jaw bone or claw on a hare may be represented by a gnarled steel nail inserted into the clay before firing. The work is built from a variety of clay bodies combined in different ways depending on the piece."
Emma Rodgers studied for both her B.A. Hons and M.A. at Wolverhampton University. Since graduating she has exhibited worldwide, including the 1st prize at 'Concours' Victoria & Albert Museum, Lineart - Ghent , Cork Street, Royal Academy of Art, S.O.F.A. Chicago, and most recently the William Zimmer Gallery U.S.A. She has also been featured in a documentary dedicated to her work on the Artworld Channel. National Museums and Galleries have purchased Rodgers work as part of their collections. She has received acclaim for her energy and dynamic approach to her work. Professional Member (fellow) of the Craft Potters Association.
She has exhibited at the Royal Academy on several occasions in 2008 a major retrospective exhibition at the Williamson Gallery Liverpool. 2009 also saw her exhibit at the Chelsea Art Club.