Preview: 12 February 2015, 19:00-21:00
13 February – 26 March 2015
Each model in the Unbuilt Library is a reading room designed for the reading of a specific book or text, with space for only one or very occasionally, two readers. Speed is interested in the relationship between the body and architecture and the book/spaces featured in this library all make this connection and have been particularly influential on Speed’s practice; literature is often a significant part of her research. The shape, materials and size of these intimate spaces are chosen according to the text itself, taking cues from the events, characters and tone. The models (or perhaps, unrealised sculptures) have been made over a long period of time, the earliest in 2007 and the most recent in 2015.
The architectural model itself is also of great interest to Speed as a medium that presents an ideal; existing as pure potential. Models are delicate, yet symbolic of power, because they can be held and even destroyed by human hands (the city, literally in your grasp) and they also provide an unusual situation, where one can be fully outside of a space and see the whole.
Emily Speed is based at The Royal Standard in Liverpool and works with performance, installation, drawing and sculpture to explore the idea of shelter and the inhabitant with further references to architecture and the body. Most recently Speed was the Derek Hill Foundation Scholar at the British School at Rome with previous residencies including Standpoint Futures (2014) and the Salzamt Atelierhaus in Linz, Austria (2009, 2012). Selected exhibitions include: Indefinable Cities at Airspace Gallery, touring to Osaka, (2015), Plymouth Arts Centre (2014), Northern Art Prize (2013), Castlefield Gallery (2013). Speed’s works are included in the Arts Council Collection, United States’ Library of Congress, Yale University and the Tate Artists’ Books Collection among others.