Since the days of childhood, I have been engrossed with New Brunswick’s rugged coastline and serine rolling hill interiors. The foggy lichen frosted forests, moss covered rocks, and jagged cliffs harness the inspiration for my work.
With a trained eye for traditional vessel forms, I am attracted to the Zen Buddhist philosophy of wabi-sabi, which sees beauty in imperfection. I like things that are unique, authentic and irregular. I love tinkering with familiar shapes and reconfiguring them into contemporary forms. Fascinated by how we relate to the outer surface of a vessel, yet drawn into the interior, my work has also expanded to abstract forms, which imbue nature’s essence, with little reference to known vessels.
The surfaces come to life through my constant development and exploration of the glaze surfaces. With no standards to saturation and hues, the textured surfaces bring to mind lichen, bark or the parched, cracked earth. Each work may have their surfaces added to or partially removed until I am satisfied and intrigued by the delicate surfaces of unpredictability that occurs.
Darren Emenau’s creations have emerge through unharnessed and playful explorations of ceramic form and materials for almost 20 years. His lush surfaces are saturated with nature’s grace, and the elegance of his work seems effortless and disguises the technical skill required for creating such elemental forms. Developed through intense experimentation, Emenau’s works are remarkable for their colour saturation. Hues range from acidic yellow-green to intense blue tones, and from mossy green to pale peach-pink. As a result of his glaze application, and transformation in the kiln, the raised cracked textures bring to mind lichen, bark or the parched, cracked earth. Emenau affirms that rustic can also be delicate and sophisticated.
His dedication to exploration and experimentation has awarded him with consistent recognition for his art practice and professional achievements over the past 20 years, with numerous international awards, grants, publications and exhibitions.
Currently, Emenau’s work is shown at the University of Maine Museum of Art in Bangor, Maine, USA. Two large solo exhibitions arescheduled in 2019 at the Saskatchewan Craft Council, Saskatoon, SK, Canada, and the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton, NB, Canada.
Emenau has also participated in the International Craft Biennale in South Korea, and the 3rd International Ceramic and Glass Exhibition in Turkey. He has had annual solo exhibitions for most years of his career. Recently Emenau's work was featured in the international publication, Wood-Fired Ceramics 100 Contemporary Artists, along with publications in Ceramics Monthly and Ceramics Art and Perception. Most recently, his work was featured in Gifts of the Earth: Crafting Ceramics from Maritime Mud in Canadian Art.