When I take apart everyday objects, I am not as interested in their original function as in what happens when I reassemble and work with the materials I find inside. I play with the balance between letting these objects speak for themselves and modifying them, between coaxing out the visible traces of their original history and allowing the materials to evolve and take on a life of their own. I come upon vibrant colors, subtle textures and unusual shapes in the most unlikely places, and I take great pleasure in revealing hidden surfaces such as the backs of book covers or other objects that are rarely, if ever, seen.
When I begin with paper, I transform this material from its flat form by creating texture and dimension with gouache and pins. Specific color combinations or gradations make it appear to move or dance in space. No matter what materials I use, there is not a single work that I have not seen in a new way – or named a new name – once it is installed and inhabits a place. I witness at this stage a wonderful exchange: the work not only gives meaning but gains meaning from the space in which it resides, and the process is complete.- Emily Payne