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Emilia Brintnall - The Snake that Ate Us All

  • Practice 319 North 11th Street / Floor 2 Philadelphia, PA, 19107 United States (map)

Join us for a solo show of new, large-scale, papier-mâché
sculpture by Philadelphia artist Emilia Brintnall. The Snake that Ate Us All merges themes and figures developed in prior work-animate and inanimate alike-to create a liminal forest of hybrid iterations that are simultaneously familiar and mythical. 

The sculptures that comprise the family members of The Snake that Ate Us All use fantasy to probe power, continuation, and rejuvenation within the context of inherited experiences. Ladder, Spine, and Singing Bone, a three-rung inverted ladder topped with three prongs, suggests the act of simultaneously climbing down, into the depths of silence, and also ascending out into the open. Knife Plant evokes a similar duality. The knife stabs the earth. From this violence, a plant emerges from the hilt, with a moon-shaped cup sitting empty on top, waiting to receive air, water, and sun to feed the knife. 

Though she draws from her personal experience, Brintnall's work retains the accessible, playful, symbolism that characterizes her art. Guardian 1 and Guardian 2 are two whimsical sphinxes. These figures, associated with the ancient divine in Egypt and Mesopotamia, flank the Lil Ygg (Yggdrsasil), the Norse tree of life. This mythical baby tree is protected by two friendly guardians, entrusted with all that is, and will be, and has been. 

Emilia Brintnall is an artist based in Philadelphia. Working in a variety of mediums, she primarily works in papier-mâché producing sculpture. Her sculptural work encompasses everyday objects, animals, and plants that are lumpy, seemingly playful versions of their real-world selves. Though apparently quotidian, Emilia's sculptures function as fantasy hybrids: objects that are vessels which she uses to explore the space between what she encounters in daily life and her imagination. Along with her sculpture, Emilia choreographs theatrical dance performances as well as produces video performances that are simultaneously humorous and disturbing.