CuratorSpace Artist Bursary #23: Emily Joy

Emily Joy (UK, 1982) is a socially and environmentally engaged artist making sculpture, installation, and performative work. Emily is also a ceramic sculpture tutor and facilitates public creative projects as half of creative partnership ‘Periscope’. Currently exploring Swiss glacial melt and associated ecological and social impacts, her practice centres around communication, empathy and ecology.

"As an artist engaged with themes of personal and ecological loss, erasure, and preservation, my work often intersects sculpture, installation, and participatory projects. My project, Unweaving and Reweaving the Commons, is an extension of my current participatory art practice and aims to deepen my engagement with both the local community and broader environmental narratives. The project is a collaboration betwen Saori Weaver, Nicola Builder, Landscape Photographer and Environmental Conservationist, Deborah Roberts and myself. Together, we are planning a three-day public participatory workshop where we will invite the community to engage directly with the landscape and history of Stroud.

Our activity centres on a large textile piece that's been eco-printed with an aerial view of the commons. Over the course of the workshop, participants will gradually and collaboratively pull threads from this piece, symbolically fraying the image to reflect the real-world erosion of species-rich limestone grassland in our region. This act of ‘unweaving’ is not just a physical act but a metaphorical exploration of our shared responsibilities and the human impact on fragile ecosystems. Following the unweaving, attendees will have the opportunity to reweave the threads using Nicola’s Saori looms. This reweaving process is designed to co-produce a new fabric that carries traces of the original image of the commons.

The process will be captured in the form of written and audio reflections from participants throughout the event to highlight how community engagement through artistic co-creation can enhance our relationship with the local ecosystem. Workshops will be held in accessible locations around Stroud, such as the Museum in the Park and Stroud Valleys Artspace, ensuring that everyone, regardless of age or ability, can participate. The choice of the simple Saori loom also reflects our commitment to making art an accessible tool for community engagement and environmental activism.

This collaboration with Nicola Builder and Deborah Roberts builds on previous projects and aims to strengthen ties with local environmental groups and charities. Both my collaborators bring a wealth of knowledge about local sustainability and community engagement. This work will also contribute to a longer duration project for the Autumn, with the potential for this community-made woven cloth to be displayed as part of the proposed fencing around small, protected areas on the commons to further the communities’ understanding of why these barriers are in place."

You can find out more about Emily's work at


More news

Not another listings site

CuratorSpace isn't another listings website; it's a place where curators and organisers can use custom online forms to allow artists to apply to their opportunity. It also allows you to see and manage all submissions made to your opportunity on the website, and to contact contributors directly.

Register now and you can start making submissions and even create your first opportunity for free.