Emma Wilson ( She/Her/Hers )

Artist Statement

Through surreal, humanoid, clay sculptures my work delves into the intersection between the complexities of human behavior, posthumanism, and the philosophical concept of absurdism by depicting a new human species made out of unnaturally large fingers and fleshy masses. In my work, fingers represent a universal human desire for communication, physical contact, and understanding. They relate to one of our strongest senses: touch. A sense that by no means is exclusively human but remains a defining factor in our humanity as it speaks to both physicality and the social nature of human beings. Fingers become a vessel to create visually ridiculous characters out of something that is ubiquitous to humans and I use that to explore the more abstract qualities of humanity, such as the extreme absurdity of our existence. 

The absurd is innately linked to being human in that we continuously search for meaning and order in a world where neither are known to exist. My sculpted characters are acknowledgments of the absurd and my acceptance of change as well as an homage to bliss, play, and curiosity. Philosopher Albert Camus believed in accepting the absurdity of our existence by continuing to explore, learn, and live in the moment. The seemingly nonsensical nature of my work reflects the absurdity of humanity and the absurdity within the act of making these unusual forms. Though my previous work has been large-scale, recently, I have been investigating the relationship between functional and nonfunctional work as well as function and meaning by creating small-scale, ornate chalices and trophies. The rituals surrounding chalices and trophies have come to relate to the preciousness of intimacy in my research. My work is somewhat extravagantly serving as an ode to the sensation of physical contact. I am designing forms and surfaces that create an almost comical offering to intimacy and the act of touching and connecting. 


Emma J. Wilson (she/her) explores absurdist depictions of the human form through the lens of ceramic sculpture. Raised in Oxford, Mississippi, she earned her BFA degree from the University of Mississippi in 2017. In 2020, she received her MFA with a focus on sculptural ceramics from Bowling Green State University. Her artistic research delves into the intersection between the complexities of human behavior, posthumanism, and the philosophical concept of absurdism. Her pedagogical research is currently fueled by Catawba Valley Community College, Lenior Rhyne University, and her work with the science-based education company Fit Learning. Lately, this research has been focused on applied learning, the reclamation of lost cognitive capacity, and culturally responsible teaching.