Latest Shape collaboration: Selected artist for the 2023 Emergent bursary with BALTIC and Shape Arts.

Artist Statement: Emma Bentley Fox is a socially-engaged arts practitioner, with a multi-disciplinary approach to art-making. Her practice centres community building and collaborative working to generate moments of joy, healing, intimacy and kinship. Co-founder of Party Mom Society (Leeds, 2018) she has documented, produced and performed in, alternative/inclusive queer nightlife spaces that centre non-conforming Queer experiences. 

An over-exposed, cyan-tinted film photograph which shows a close up frame of two faces kissing.

Blue Kiss - Kit & Courtney - Emma Bentley Fox

More recently in 2022 she was awarded an Arts Council England's DYCP grant, to archive her body of photography work, culminating in her first solo exhibition Confessions of A Party Mom, 2023. This brought together a very small snapshot of her archive documenting 7 years of alternative queer nightlife spaces across Yorkshire. She has also been developing a Leeds-based network of Queer archivists and Trauma-Informed archiving workshop spaces, specifically tailored to those in recovery, and exploring the potential of ‘archive’ as a site of healing, repair, storytelling and protest/resistance.

She is particularly drawn to colour analogue photography, and the expansiveness and possibility of the image/texture in photo-negatives and analogue images. She relates this back to her own experiences of gender and queerness. Archives also similarly are not fixed. They are places of negotiation, fluid, open to interpretation and Emma is interested in what can be found and lost in the gaps.  

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Banner image credit: Emma, self portrait, 2021 © Emma Bentley Fox. Image description: Emma lies on her front on a patterned rug looking up slightly to the camera holding a red telephone to her ear. She wears a floaty pink skirt and top with green heels.