In the words of the Financial Times’ photography critic, Francis Hodgson, Emily Allchurch “has made herself a specialist in a kind of extreme collage.” Her starting point may be an old master painting by perhaps Bruegel, Friedrich or Turner, one of Piranesi’s prints of imaginery prisons or one of Hiroshige’s sublime Views of Edo. Using often hundreds of photographs, always taken herself in appropriate, yet present-day urban environments, she digitally recreates these masterpieces. However her seamless collages are never slavish copies; that is not the intention. Rather Allchurch reasserts, sometimes even subverts, contemporary life and culture by means of its re-evaluation through the template of past masters. Using lightboxes as a tool for their display suffuses the colour and heightens their immediacy.
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