EMILY YOUNG (B. 1951)
EMILY YOUNG (B. 1951)
EMILY YOUNG (B. 1951)
EMILY YOUNG (B. 1951)
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PROPERTY FROM A DISTINGUISHED PRIVATE COLLECTION
EMILY YOUNG (B. 1951)

Helios II

Details
EMILY YOUNG (B. 1951)
Young, E.
Helios II
Giallo di Siena marble, on a steel plinth, unique
21 5/8 in. (55 cm.) high, excluding base
Carved in 2019.
Exhibited
Siena, Museo della Contrada della Tartuca, Mostra di Emily Young, May - July 2019.
Further details
We are very grateful to Emily Young for her assistance in cataloguing this lot.

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Pippa Jacomb
Pippa Jacomb Head of Day Sale

Lot Essay

‘The loveliness, power and strength in the stone is the raw beauty of nature herself; I can put a more or less familiar shape onto it, like a suit of clothes, and then eyes can look in and see what has been there for millions or billions of years’ (Emily Young).

At the heart of Young’s practice lies a deep connection to the materials she uses, a devotion to the variety of natural textures, colours and patterns that she discovers within the stones as she works away at their surfaces. Her selection process is driven by instinct – some pieces are salvaged from the hills around her home in the Italian countryside, others discovered discarded at the back of a quarry, but each piece of rock and stone is chosen because the artist detects an intangible sense of potential in it.

Deftly attuned to the individual characteristics of each stone she works in, Young cuts directly into the material herself, without any preparatory studies or drawings. In this way, she believes she is communicating with the stone, feeling her way organically towards an image or a form as she peels away layer after layer of material, responding to its internal structure as it slowly reveals itself to her. Comparing this process to a conversation, the artist continuously adapts her carving to what she discovers as she works, altering the sculpture to accommodate hidden cavities or previously unseen streams of pigment that signal the chemical make-up of the stone and its journey through time.

This acute awareness of the vast history that lies behind her materials has simultaneously caused her to consider the potential futures that lie ahead for her sculptures and as a result, Young strives for a timelessness in her choice of subject matter. In search of a universal language that can transcend the moment of an artwork’s creation and speak to generations across time, the present work shares its name with the ancient Greek god who personifies the sun. With a serene face and idealised features that are reduced to an almost androgynous simplicity, combined with a captivating sense of stillness, Helios II is imbued with an otherworldly quality. At once ancient and modern, reflective and forward thinking, Young explores the fundamental link between humanity, history and the earth, and all of the possible futures which lie ahead of us.

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