Artist Statement

by Emma

Emma Destrubé
Artist Statement

If “inside” and “outside” meet at a line, what happens when this boundary dissolves?
When she wasn’t practicing acrobatics along the beaches of the Canadian Pacific, Emma Destrubé’s childhood was spent either leaning into the self-created, perfectly controlled, idealized microcosms of her miniature doll’s houses; or leaping out wide-eyed into the alluring, magnificent and unpredictable world-at-large as she accompanied her father’s orchestra on tour. As a young adult setting out to find her own place in this external world, Emma was faced with overwhelming physical challenges and her attention was directed inwards to carve living space within her self. Meeting her situation with courage and a deep belief in transformation, she turned her outward focus in, learning to cultivate, heal and re-seed her inner landscape. Now, two years later, Emma is unfolding back out to expand into her world, while striving to keep an honest and sustaining presence within. “How do I integrate my experiences of the inner world that inhabits me with the outer world that I inhabit? How do I soften the boundary of my skin and allow these two worlds to meet intimately and authentically?”

Working with themes of interior and exterior, my work is a study of the meetings and mergings of inside and outside, of form and formless, of light and matter, of self and other. I see boundaries as imagined lines that, like the horizon, we can point at but can never get closer to touching. The deeper we look, the more they blur and widen into spaciousness – the spaces between particles or the spaces between the stars. My work is about the possibilities that can inhabit this potent void; trying to chart the invisible boundary where form meets potential. If I map the manifest, external world, and I map my imagination, where do the two meet? Just as our breath flows in and out, traversing the boundary of our bodies and supporting us as part of a wider ecosystem, I am keenly aware of the light that touches the world and is reflected to land inside our eyes; light meeting matter to form our experience. I see light as a medium that tangibly transcends the boundaries of our selves and lives at the perfect edge of what can be felt.

In Molecules, Emma creates tiny, modeled scenes – people on the street, deer in a forest – inside of glossy, transparent octahedrons, their shadows merging together to cast a dreamlike spread on the surrounding walls. Accompanying sounds reflecting the scenes makes these worlds seem to come alive with simplicity and immediacy. Playing with the idea of worlds within worlds, Emma merges micro and macro, erasing the separation between the two and drawing our attention to the captivating potentials of our own inner space. If the outside is the inside – if we can look deeply and allow this boundary to dissolve – how does this affect the way we interact with and inhabit our world? What would it look like to live from this experience?

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