Emma Burry

A great portion of my life has been spent with my feet in the ocean and my eyes on the horizon. As someone who was born on the island of Newfoundland I am constantly surrounded by water and sky; allowing me to become attached to the scenery in an intimate way.  My practice has grown to become an exploration into longing; how we feel it, how we deal with it, and how we search for it. The horizon is, for me, a space between that of the palpable world and something metaphoric where memories and feelings can flourish. In the same breath it also acts as the one visual point that we know we cannot reach, a direct correlation with the notion of yearning. Through my work I attempt to explore our physical and psychological connections with ideas of longing, home, and place. I use repetitious gestures, my own body and mundane or found materials to navigate this space between reality and memory. Through laborious gestures I can reconnect to places from my memories – places longed for – while outwardly representing the stress, strain, and sadness felt through the process.

While exploring Toronto Island I will be navigating the mooring lines between water, body, and longing.  The land is unique in that it has been submerged by water multiple times and has in turn become just as much a part of the water as it has stayed the land. These overlaps seem to hold answers to how the body and memory intertwine to foster yearning for something once familiar. I intend to walk and spend time along the edges of these places that live within this liminal space of both land and water. During my stay I hope to kindle a connection with these places by using my body, repeated gesture, and time. My overall goal for the residency is to be able to channel my experience with the unique landscape of Toronto Island, conveying the complicated relationship between my physical body, memory and the island itself.


Emma Burry is an interdisciplinary artist from the island of Newfoundland, Canada. Emma graduated from the Bachelor of Fine Arts Program at Grenfell Campus, Memorial University and is currently finishing her Master of Fine Arts at Emily Carr University of Art and Design, Vancouver, British Columbia. Emma represented Newfoundland as the provincial winner of the BMO 1stArt! Award in 2018 where she exhibited her work at the Justina M. Barnicke Gallery. She has also exhibited her work in Newfoundland, England, and most recently at theMichael O’Brian Exhibition Commons, Vancouver. 

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