Emma Dexter

Vortex and other works


In 1912 Edward James (1907-1984) inherited West Dean House in Sussex. He sponsored Salvador Dalí for the whole of 1938
and began collecting the paintings and sculpture that subsequently came to be regarded as one of the finest private collections
of surrealism, including works by Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Klee, Leonora Carrington, Picasso, Giacometti, Max Ernst and Paul Delvaux,
amongst others. West Dean now houses a College, set up in 1971 by the Edward James Foundation, where Emma Dexter has worked
as a tutor and artist-in-residence.


Edward James was a poet but also made sculpture and his fantastic surrealist creation was realised at Las Pozas in the Mexican
rain forest, a surrealist sculpture garden where Emma Dexter was honoured to be the first sculptor to create work since James himself. 


Cabaret Universelle (Global Debt), 2011


During her West Dean residency Emma Dexter experimented with mirrors as a means of expanding spatial awareness within an enclosed space. 
Elated at what she was discovering, she found connections, through the creation of optical space and reflective light, to her experiences at Las Pozas. 
The following images of work by Emma Dexter include installation shots and details of the Vortex works, created by means of a kaleidoscope-like
structure containing mirrors, with an external casing that appears smaller than the internal space in which the optical effect creates globe-like images
and gives the surrounding space a sense of infinity.

Vortex 1 – Dreamscape, Las Pozas’ was recently exhibited in an installation event to celebrate ‘The Day of the Dead’ and honoring the life and works of
Leonora Carrington and Edward James, at the Mexican Ambassador’s residence. Also documented here are a larger optical illusion sculpture made for
the Lava Collective Gallery at Outlook Festival 2011, in Croatia, other works in a group show at the Rag Factory in London in November 2011,
and Dexter’s ‘Shooting Paintings’.