Emily Allchurch uses photography to recreate old master paintings and prints, creating contemporary narratives. She has reworked compositions by Peter Bruegel the Elder, Utagawa Hiroshige, Giovanni Battista Piranesi, Adolphe Valette and James Abbott McNeill Whistler. Her works are seamless digital collages, using hundreds of photographs taken in urban environments today.
The complex photographic images have a resonance with place, history, culture and deal with passage of time and the changes to a landscape, fusing contemporary life with a sense of history. The exhibition will showcase Allchurch’s celebrated Tokyo Story and Tokaido Road series, which pay homage to the 19th century Japanese printmaker Hiroshige. Produced as lightboxes, they reveal not only the changing nature of the topography but also the changes to Japanese society and customs. They will be shown alongside rarely seen original Hiroshige woodblock prints.
Also on show is a selection of works with an urban European theme. This includes a recreation on Whistler’s Nocturne: Blue and Silver Cremorne Lights and works inspired by Piranesi’s 18th century etchings of urban fantasies. Allchurch will also show her newly commissioned work for Manchester Art Gallery based on Albert Square, Manchester by French Impressionist Valette, creating a dialogue between the Edwardian and contemporary city. A new artwork inspired by Breugel’s The Tower of Babel will feature at the Djanogly. Depicting the architecture and buildings of London, this work will inspire a series of workshops for families and young people throughout the exhibition exploring the role of urban areas and architecture in our lives.
Based on an exhibition on tour from Manchester Art Gallery with additional works produced by the Djanogly Art Gallery.
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