Emma Talbot; The Age / L'Età

Fri. 22 Sep. – Sat. 2 Dec. 2023

Opening Friday 22 Sep. 6pm with an artist’s led tour of the exhibition.

The Model is delighted to present Emma Talbot’s The Age / L’Età. Talbot, who was born in Stourbridge, UK in 1969, won the eighth edition of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women in 2021, and was one of the highlights of The Milk of Dreams at the Venice Biennale, 2022.

The Age / L’Età comprises animation, free-hanging painted silk panels, three-dimensional work and drawings. The work explores themes of representation and ageing, power and governance, as well as attitudes towards nature. Talbot imagines a future environment where humankind encounters the disastrous consequences of late capitalism and must look towards more ancient and holistic ways of crafting and belonging – that rethink power structures and celebrate the natural world – in order to survive.

The Age / L’Età takes Gustav Klimt’s painting Three Ages of Woman, 1905, as its starting point. Klimt depicts an elderly woman holding her head in an expression of apparent shame. Talbot reimagines this elderly figure as a woman with agency who must overcome a series of trials similar to The Twelve Labours of Hercules. Rather than overcoming the trials through destruction, theft, deceit and murder (as did Hercules), the protagonist employs productive, care-centred and practical solutions, inspired by the twelve principles of permaculture, a practice which offers an ethical, sustainable way of living with the land. Through her modern-day trials, the protagonist has the potential to reconstruct contemporary society, countering prevalent negative attitudes to ageing, power and the climate crisis.


        Sligo County Council

Exhibition images

About the artist

British artist Emma Talbot began her artistic career by studying at the Kent Institute of Art and Design in 1987, followed by the Birmingham Institute of Art and Design in 1988, and The Royal College of Art where she graduated in 1995. Since then she has exhibited worldwide, with solo exhibitions at Transition Gallery (London), Freud Museum (London), Galerie Onrust (Amsterdam), Arcadia Missa (New York), and Petra Rinck Galerie (Düsseldorf), and group shows at Turner Contemporary (Margate), Walker Art Gallery (Liverpool), Art Gallery of Western Australia (Perth), and Charlie Dutton Gallery (Beijing), amongst many more.

In 1995 Talbot won a scholarship to the British School in Rome, and in 1996 was awarded the Bob and Susan Kasen Summers Studio Award. In 2020 Talbot was awarded the Max Mara prize which supports UK-based female artists and as a result saw the artist create a new body of work which was shown at the Whitechapel Gallery (London) and Collezione Maramotti (Italy) in 2021. Talbot's work features in the Venice Biennale 2022, and currently in collections such as the Saatchi Collection, David Roberts Collection, J Sainsbury PLC, Unilever and Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Art Gallery of Western Australia (Perth).


Current Exhibitions