Emily Hesse, 27 April 1980 – 4 November 2022

Emily Hesse, 27 April 1980 – 4 November 2022

Journal 8 Nov 2022

We are deeply saddened by the news that artist Emily Hesse has passed away.

We were honoured to present Emily’s exhibition The Witches’ Institution 27 May – 18 September 2022 at The Tetley.

The exhibition brought together a body of work that had been developed over the artist’s career.

This Instagram post by Emily says more than we ever can:

‘To build a show with the research and hope that it will always be possible to develop pockets of worlds inside the one we occupy has been a true gift.

I was asked by Jerwood who most I wanted to experience this show a few months back. I answered: my children, all children. I knew they wouldn’t have to try to understand the work, or look between the lines to dig out a bigger conceptual meaning, it would just be there for them. These images I was sent last week depict exactly what I had imagined.

They have brought me a joy and a comfort, while I battle everyday through the pain of cancer and the troublingly overburdened NHS which has slowed down treatment for months now. The children need to know they have the power to build whatever world they want in the chaos and madness. It can be small, and that is ok. Because grand gestures have always brought about new power structures and generalisations that are unnecessary and will inevitably swallow themselves whole. The change is in your pocket.’

We are grateful that Emily shared these worlds with us and our visitors.

We send our deepest sympathies to all her family, friends and collaborators.

Image: children explore Emily Hesse, The Witches’ Institution, 2022. Installation view at The Tetley, 2022. Jo Ritchie