Emily Hesse

Emily Hesse, (PhD Researcher)

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Phd Researcher Profile

Designing the Anthropocene: ceramics as an archaeology of the contemporary past.


Emily Hesse is a multidisciplinary visual artist from Middlesbrough in North-East England who draws materials from her surrounding landscapes to tell stories of place, social history and the passing of time, unpacking complex narratives that define working class communities.

Hesse produced Blackbirds Born from Invisible Stars in 2018, a bookwork she describes as a “sculptural object” and separate from its content which is a semi-autobiographical, prose-based view of what “strategic regionalism means to an artist of [her] background, age and position.”

Her 2018 solo exhibition The Taste of This History: A Church in my Mouth (Workplace Gallery, Gateshead) addressed the barriers Hesse faces as a female, working class, middle aged artist. For example, The Centre of Things 2018played on craft traditions associated with the feminine, featuring a needle hanging on thread woven from local moorland wool and the hair of Hesse and her daughters.

Hesse’s most recent work Kissing the Bees (2019) is 17-minute film installation shot on a mobile phone, bringing together research into witchcraft of the North York Moors as an early form of matriarchal social organising.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 5 - Gender Equality
  • SDG 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Education/Academic qualification

Unknown, Master, University of Sunderland

Award Date: 21 Oct 2015


  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • ceramics
  • clay
  • sculpture
  • contemporary art
  • communities
  • social practice
  • cultural institutions


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