I create bronze sculptures inspired by nature and our human relationship to it. Growing up an outsider queer in a rural setting, I sought my belonging in the universe through nature. I played in the woods, wandered under the night sky and through the trees, under thousands of leaves and galaxies uncounted, through cornfields and creek beds and meteor showers, both a stargazer and a daydreamer. There were times when I found myself beneath the stars breathless, simultaneously lost and found, accepting and appreciating both the enchanting beauty and ever-present danger of nature. I listened to the banshee cry of the crow perched atop the wooden fence post, and saw the roadkill carnage of the slain deer that made me despair the human machine and yet picture a beautiful journey back to the stars. I watched as generations of squirrels diligently gathered items for their winter stock, and I began my own collection of found objects, squirreled away for future inspiration. These experiences are my story and a portion of the voice that is my Midwestern rural woodland place.
Throughout time we have created to remember. From our visceral, liquid selves, our stories are told and passed on. There are voices from different places, traveling from cave-drawn lines down the fractal lineage of ancestral experience, the antler-shaped paths which have grown and expanded us. Our past walks alongside us, disguised in history and memory, like a shadow realm evoking our animal spirit, embedding itself into every present footstep toward the future. In art there is fantasy, it’s a place where anything can exist. I am a sculptor and a maker of new spaces, reassembling fragmented experiences into imaginative new forms. In a world where women’s voices are still quieted, I fantasize the unapologetically loud female figure. She is both protective and vulnerable but shamelessly heard.
I value craftswomanship, and practice the ancient lost-wax bronze casting technique in my work. Bronze is often written off as old-fashioned, but I believe it still has much to reveal as a contemporary medium. I regard casting as a form of documentation, displaying and sustaining textural information that represents an artifact or place in time, a sculptural photograph preserving a memory. The impressions of these impermanent moments become sustained in metal like a fossil recollection of their existence, informing the future.
"Emily Budd is no budding artist. She is the real deal. Found objects, organic shapes, old things-yep, Paleo old, such as fossils and dinosaurs- inspire our Emily. That caveman who drew those animals on the walls of Chauvet Cave 30,000 years ago? Total inspiration...We love how she applies modern aesthetic to everything she makes, manufactures and molds. Old soul/new attitude. Her large scale work coming soon...so you can see how she takes ruins, mythology, sea creatures and the cosmos and casts them into something for the ages."
-Martha Hoover for the Patachou People Project
I also design jewelry. Check it out here.
Watch a bronze pour here.