Emma Cocker is a writer-artist based in Sheffield and Associate Professor in Fine Art, Nottingham Trent University. Emma's research focuses on artistic processes and practices, and the performing of ‘thinking-in-action’ therein. Her practice unfolds restlessly along the threshold between writing/art, including experimental, performative and collaborative approaches, alongside a mode of ‘contiguous writing’ — a way of writing-with that seeks to touch upon rather than being explicitly about. Her writing is published in Failure, 2010; Stillness in a Mobile World, 2010; Drawing a Hypothesis: Figures of Thought, 2011; Hyperdrawing: Beyond the Lines of Contemporary Art, 2012; Reading/Feeling, 2013; On Not Knowing: How Artists Think, 2013; Choreo-graphic Figures: Deviations from the Line, 2017; The Creative Critic: Writing as/about Practice, and the solo collection, The Yes of the No, 2016. More recently, Emma trained to be a qualified yoga teacher, interested in how a heightened awareness of the body and breath, alongside meditation and attention practices, might be integrated into art-writing, artistic practice, pedagogy and research.

Publication: ‘People, Places, Process: The Shops Project’

My essay 'Social Assemblage' on the work of FrenchMottershead has been published in the book ‘People, Places, Process: The Shops Project’ which will be officially launched on Monday 21 June 2010 in London.

‘People, Places, Process: The Shops Project’

A presentation and book launch by FrenchMottershead

Hosted by British author, historian and curator, Dr Mike Phillips OBE.

British artists FrenchMottershead (Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead) create art that explores ideas of identity, social ritual and the everyday public and private realms in which they are played out. One of their recent projects is ‘Shops’, an international project uncovering communities formed around independent, local traders. FrenchMottershead’s exploration of the connections between local traders and residents took them, among other places, to the city of Iasi, in north-eastern Romania. Here they engaged with shop-owners, staff and customers, documenting the encounters and also the stories of the people they have met. The Romanian part of ‘The Shops Project’ was supported by the Ratiu Foundation.

In collaboration with Site Gallery Sheffield, the major hub of contemporary art in Yorkshire, this Culture Power event will see FrenchMottershead present their project, with an emphasis on Iasi. With this occasion, the artists will also present the book resulting from their encounters, part of the ‘Shops’ project, around the world.

Book Launch: ‘People, Places, Process: The Shops Project’
by Rebecca French and Andrew Mottershead. Site Gallery, 2010. ISBN: 978-1-899926-08-4
The book can be purchased on the evening at the special price of £9.95 (RRP £12.00).

‘People, Places, Process: The Shops Project’ was published to accompany FrenchMottershead’s ‘The Shops Project’ exhibition at Site Gallery, Sheffield, which took place from November 2009 to February 2010.

The residencies and work periods that resulted in work represented in the exhibition and this book took place in Bahia, Brazil (January 2008); Sao Paulo, Brazil (February - March 2008); Guangzhou, China (April - May 2008); Iasi, Romania (November - December 2008); Ljubljana, Slovenia (March - April 2009); Istanbul, Turkey (June - July 2009); and Sheffield, England (August - November 2009).

This publication compiles four years of research, documentation and artworks that have resulted from FrenchMottershead’s international Shops project, which looks at society through the lens of local shops.
Texts by the artists and local writers from the cities they've visited sit alongside contributions from Peter Jackson, Professor of Human Geography at The University of Sheffield, writer and lecturer Emma Cocker, and artist and writer Tim Etchells. Together they show, describe and analyse unique customers' and shop owners' stories in a range of different shopping landscapes, emphasising their differences but also revealing their connections and common grounds.

Private View of ‘The Shops Project’ in London
A part of ‘The Shops Project’ will be on display at the Ratiu Foundation / Romanian Cultural Centre, from 21 to 30 June 2010.