Sofa so good for Leeds College of Art sculptor

Emily Binks has made sculptures from abandoned furniture. PIC: Jane Barlow
Emily Binks has made sculptures from abandoned furniture. PIC: Jane Barlow
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a young sculptor who has made a work of art out of old sofas is sitting pretty after winning a £10,000 residency.

Emily Binks, 23, has been awarded the Glenfiddich Artist in Residence prize after transforming settees into sculptures.

The former Leeds College of Art student made her display out of careworn furniture left on the streets of Edinburgh where she was studying.

Her work, ‘Survival Series #1, is currently being exhibited at the The RSA Gallery in Edinburgh until March 30. The inspiration for it came from examining the human relationship with the functional objects we use day in, day out

Emily said: “Old furniture is allowed to be cast out onto the streets, abandoned and forgotten, after years and years of unfaltering service. But they are now asserting themselves as a new object in a new environment, allowing me to give them a new purpose. They are surviving after being thrown out.

“An important part of my work is the process of foraging and collecting materials, all the sofas where collected on foot, by hand and pushed to my studio on a trolly, by myself, usually. Forget crazy cat lady, meet crazy trolly lady.”

She added: “What makes this award even more special to me is that it isn’t just a wad of cash handed to me as a prize, instead it is an unmissable opportunity for me to completely immerse myself in developing my artist practice further by providing me with a house, a studio and a budget for making new work, without the stress and added pressure of having to support myself by working along side making. As an emerging artist there really isn’t anything greater than what Glenfiddich are offering me; total creative freedom, and the space and time for it to thrive.”

Prior to her new-found success Emily, of Wrenthorpe, Wakefield, took part in ‘Young Visionaries’ at Project Space Leeds.