Emma Bolland

Artist/Writer



I am an artist and writer employing experimental approaches to inter-genre / interdisciplinary writing, speaking, and reading. This includes an investigation of the problematics and ambiguities of an expanded understanding of translation—between languages and language codes, and between voice, ear, and page. Other mediums include drawing and other works on paper, moving-image, performance, collaborations, and events. In material terms, I am interested in the possibilities for ecologically sustainable painting practices and art practice in a time of climate crisis. I am interested in the wider politics of communication, and the conflicts between medical and social models of disability.  I am a co-editor at the small press Gordian Projects, and am on the advisory board of the Intellect journal JAWS: Journal of Arts Writing by post-graduate and doctoral researchers. I am an Associate Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University (MFA and BA FineArt), an Associate Lecturer at the University of Bolton (BA Fine Art), and a tutor for the Poetry School’s International Programme. My PhD, Scripting Silence: The Expanded Screenplay as Present-Traumatic Language, uses artists’ language practices to resist the pathologisation of language. Please contact me for a visual portfolio or an academic CV, and see my publications page for print publications, and selected online written text and audio works.

Email: emmazcbolland [at] gmail [dot] com
Instagram: @emma_bolland
Twitter: @emmaZbolland
Linktree: @emmabolland


Selected Exhibitions, Residencies, Performances, and Events




2022
  • A Gesture Towards Three Building, a live drawing and voice performance for Performance Nights, curated by Allie Carr at Yorkshire Artspace.
  • Ever Fallen un Love, a performance reading at the English Shared Futures conference evening events programme, Manchester Metropolitan University.
2021
  • ImPerfekt, Mewo Kunsthalle, Memmingem, Germany. For this group exhibition I was commissioned to write and speak an experimental ‘audio-guide’ to navigate the audience around and across the works by the other exhibiting artists, including Daniele Buetti, Adi Hösle, Nikola Irmer, MASBEDO, Bruno Metra & Laurence Jeanson, Annegret Soltau, and Marc Quinn.
  • Microclimates, performances of and discussions on strategies for writing-in-progress by artists and creative writers, convened by Professor Ceri Morgan, University of Keele.
2020
  • Over, In, and Under (online), pre-recorded performance reading for the ‘English Shared Futures: Across the Disciplines’ conference’s performance and readings programme, Manchester and Salford Universities.
  • A Leap in the Dark at Carthorse Orchestra (online), readings from the Dostoyevsky Wannabe anthology Love Bites (fiction responding to Pete Shelley and the Buzzcocks), curated by C.D. Rose, and including Sarah-Clare Conlon, Kathleen Davies, Sharon Duggal, Maeve Haughey, Richard Hirst, Tom Jenks, and Jonathan Kemp.
2019
  • Painted Ladies: 20th century portraiture (survey exhibition), Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
  • #interrupteur Knowledge Exchange artist-writer in residence, University of Sheffield’s School of Arts and Humanities. I used the residency to work with and/or host with guest artists and writers including Helen Clarke, Angelina D’Roza, Rachel Genn, Ashley Holmes, Jan Hopkins, Brian Lewis, Roy Claire Potter, No Matter (Jazz Linklater, Nell Osbourne, and Hilary Reid), and Hester Reeve, turning the ground floor foyer of the Jessop West building into a space for experimental and participatory processes.
  • Featured poet for the performances at the Carlisle Poetry Symposium, Tullie House.
  • Performance of Sh! ffLight! at Poetics in Commons, Centre for Poetry and Poetics, Humanities Research Institute, University of Sheffield.
2018
  • Silvery, Silvery, performance readings at Leeds City Gallery. An experimental 'audio guide' commissioned by Gill Crawshaw for her curatorial project which aimed to increase access for blind and visually impaired visitors to Leeds City Art Gallery.
  • Sh! ffLight!, an art-writing /sound poem score for two voices written and performed in collaboration with Helen Clarke, performed as part of Writing Photographs at Tate Modern. This text performance was produced via an immersion in and a critique of the exhibition 100 Years of Abstract Photographs—a response to the materiality of the images and to curatorial injustices and violence.
  • Taking Ideas for a Walk (group exhibition), curated by Graham Domke in association with Dundee University, Hostpitalfield, Scotland
  • Switch Space, a live, durational, collaborative film ‘fansubbing’ performance with Rachel Smith, as part of her artist in residence programme for the University of Sheffield’s School of Arts and Humanities.
2017
  • In the Open: an exhibition of collaborative artworks around place, landscape and environment (group exhibition as part of the ‘Cross Multi Inter Trans’ Biennial Conference of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, U.K. and Ireland in association with LAND2, a landscape, place and visual arts research network). SIA Gallery, Sheffield.
2016
  • INT/EXT (solo exhibition), Wild Pansy Project Space, University of Leeds,An exhibition using video, installation and drawing in response to the technical language of screenwriting.
  • Geohumanities Online (group exhibition) curated online by the 2016 Association of American Geographers conference in San Francisco. Other artists included Fiona Crisp, Jonathan Prior and Samantha Walton, and Ursula Bieman.
  • Micromegas Vagabond Flux (see below), Project Space Plus, University of Lincoln.
2015
  • Lorem Ipsum (group exhibition), The Tetley, Leeds.
  • The Is of the Thing (Lectophobia Mix), screening and performance reading for Artists’ Book Market, Baltic, Gateshead.
  • Library Interventions residency, Leeds College of Art and Design, including screenings and performance readings of the work produced.
  • Micromegas Vagabond Flux (group exhibition), Gallerie Université de Lille 3, Lille, France, Micromegas Vagabond Flux was conceived, commissioned and curated by Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Jannsen, for which artists were invited to respond to Voltaire’s proto-sci-fi story, ‘Micromegas’. Other artists included Laure Prouvost, Jonn Herschend, Stefanos Pavlakis & Tobias Kauer, Mick Peter, and Bik Van der Pol.
2014
  • The Is of the Thing (performance and film screening), part of Unsettled by and Open To: Shady Dealings with Language, curated by Roy Claire Potter and David Berridge), Matt’s Gallery, London.
2012
  • MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall (collaborative exhibition with Judit Bodor and Tom Rodgers), Wild Pansy Project Space, University of Leeds, MilkyWayYouWillHearMeCall used site visits, walking, drawing, photography, and conversation to explore ideas of post-traumatic landscape in relation to civic space and the city of Leeds’s responses to the murders of sex workers by Peter Sutcliffe in the early 1980s.
2007
  • The Great Purpose (group exhibition), Mile End Park Arts Pavilion, London.
  • Wildwood (group exhibition with Laura Ford, Racheal Goodyear, Diane Howse, Kelly McCallum, Sophie Lascelles, Heather and Ivan Morison, and Rebecca Birch), PSL, Leeds.
2006
  • Rose and Heather (solo exhibition). An installation responding to tropes of violence in relation to ‘True Crime’ and crime and mystery novels, domesticity, and oppositions of country and city, Leeds City Art Gallery.
  • Multiples und Editionen (group exhibition), Con/temporary gallery, Berlin.
  • For the North (group exhibition) Generator Projects, Dundee.
  • Multiplus (group exhibition), Sideshow, Nottingham.
  • Crimescene, (solo exhibition), The Window, Birmingham.
  • Lightboat (public art commission), Culture Company public commissions for Holbeck and the Leeds & Liverpool Canal.
2005
  • Situation News (a collaborative intervention with John Wakeman for Situation Leeds, a festival of art in the public realm). Situation News is cited and pictured in Gabriel N. Gee, Art in the North of England 1979–2009, London: Routledge, 2017.
2004
  • Sylvia Sylvia (where are you buried?), (solo show) Project Space, Patrick Studios, East Street Arts, Leeds.
2000
  • The Grammar of Display: Painting (group exhibition with Maggie Ayliffe, Brendan Fletcher, and Geoff Keen), Huddersfield Art Gallery.
1988
  • New Paintings (solo exhibition), Wolverhampton Art Gallery.
  • Angels and Fishwives (two-person exhibition with Michelle Leon), Huddersfield Art Gallery.