Emily Gillbanks (b. 1999) is a London-based painter and researcher from Colchester, United Kingdom. She is a two-time recipient of the Elizabeth Greenshields Foundation international painting grant, was awarded the Fribourg Philanthropies Painting Prize, and was shortlisted for the ACS Studio Prize.
Starting from images captured on her iPhone, Gillbanks directly references those who exist in an era that constantly engages with the immediacies of social media, and the ceaseless flow of images found in the un-curated galleries of our pockets. Responding directly to technological phenomena, Gillbanks’ practice aims to reflect how her smartphone has become an extension of both mind and body. By bracketing pictorial Realism and the growing ubiquity of digitisation in our daily lives, Gillbanks interrogates how we may cohabitate within the body-machine era. Through elements of subtext & fantasy alongside her everyday self, she highlights the blurred boundary between mind, body, and smartphone that have come to jointly define a hybrid existence of being-in-the-world.
“The world” found in our pockets is dominating methods of communication in our current technologically mediated communities. Through oil paint, Gillbanks offers a greater sense of permanence to the momentary, or fortuitous, nature of camera roll images found on her smartphone.