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Leading mid-career Melbourne based artist Troy Emery will present six new sculptures that continue his vibrant investigation into anthropomorphism, kitsch and materiality. Using indistinct animal forms covered in layers of polyester tassels, Emery deliberately engages with the ideas and language of both visual art and craft, aiming to question the division between the two. Emery relishes the combination of serious philosophical enquiry and the simultaneous exploration of the purely decorative and tacky associations of the tassels.

Disarmingly playful and highly tactile, the subjects of his sculptures are also poignantly elusive. Their faceless forms, camouflaged in long lurid tassels, offer no indication of what lies beneath. Hence the title of the exhibition, Sonder, a word coined in 2012 that refers to the realisation that every other person in the world has as rich an inner life as you do, that we all have our own histories, hopes and worries; we are all constantly thinking and feeling. At the same time, we have very limited access to the minds of others, as we all operate from within our own layers of artifice, disguise or socially codified behaviour.


Troy Emery’s practice encompasses sculpture, painting, and drawing. Emery’s artwork explores the way that representations of animals can be used as decorative motifs, superficial icons for ecological issues or fetishised objects of adornment and entertainment.

Emery has presented his work across Australia and internationally since 2003. He has recently held solo exhibitions at the Art Gallery of Ballarat (2019), CRAFT and as part of Dark Mofo (2018). Emery’s work is held in various private and public collections, including NGV, Artbank, City of Townsville, Goulburn Regional Art Gallery and Deakin Art Museum.

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