Born in Southsea, England, Emma Camden immigrated to New Zealand in 1991. Considered one of New Zealand’s leading studio glass artists, Camden’s characteristic architectural forms show a virtuoso handling of the cast glass medium.
An urban narrative thread runs through Camden’s glass sculptures speaking of immigration, environment, transport and location. Light pierces through the cavities of the structures illuminating and silhouetting the angular planes of towers, arches, bridges and sky-scrapers. Through casting processes such as sand blasting, acid etching and hand sanding with diamond pads, Camden produces highly refined sculptural works. Be it cobalt blue, burnt orange or emerald green, each solid piece of glass is constructed in a distinct monochromatic hue. Like outlandish buildings or the bones of a boat her forms taper into slanting pinnacles and sharp right angels. They lean and tilt on precarious angles reflecting both physical and metaphysical journeys.
With a career spanning over three decades, Camden has an extensive international exhibition history and has received considerable acclaim for both her technical and sculptural innovation. The recipient of numerous awards, and residencies, she is one of a small number of New Zealand artists to have received the supreme award for the Ranamok Glass Prize (Australia). Camden’s work is held in major public and private collections such as National Art Glass Collection, Wagga Wagga, Australia, Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane, Ebeltost Museum, Ebeltost, Denmark, Ta Papa, National Museum, Wellington, New Zealand, Dowse Art Museum, Lower Hutt, New Zealand Auckland City Museum, Applied Arts Collection, Auckland, Wallace Arts Trust, Auckland.
Camden currently works full time as an artist in Whanganui.