Emma Stibbon - volcanic landscapes using volcanic material

Stromboli Image credit: Image credit: Emma Stibbon

Emma Stibbon, RA, has a continuing interest in landscapes undergoing transformation. This has led her to visit several locations situated in areas of geologic activity including Hawai’i, Iceland and Italy.

The showpiece of Emma's mini-exhibition is 'Stromboli', an intaglio print made from ink drawings incorporating actual volcanic ash collected in the field. Stromboli is constantly active with minor eruptions emitting ash, lava fragments and gas; the atmospheric effects of the ash plume are the focus of this print. 

Alongside Stromboli are sketches from her field exploration of volcanic terrain in the two adjacent display cases.

One display case is dedicated to Emma's work on Iceland, in particular the 1973 lava and ash eruption of Edfell volcano (Heimaey Island, Iceland). This eruption destroyed over 400 buildings and forced the evacuation of the town’s 5,000 residents. The stark, white houses contrast with the black volcanic landscape, an effect captured by these carbon sketches by Emma, who used real volcanic ash to add depth and realism to the images.

Also on display are sketches from Hawai'i, focusing on the intersection of volcanoes, the natural environment and human spirituality. This is done through a series of sketches of Ohia trees, which grow directly out of basaltic lava flows from Kilauea volcano; furthermore, Ohia trees resonate deeply in Hawai'ian mythology, and this is brought to life through Emma's work.

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