Emma Zukovic is a visual artist currently based in Galway, Ireland. She received her BA in Fine Art Printmaking and Contemporary Practice in Limerick School of Art and Design. The artist's mother is of Irish nationality and her father is from Macedonia.
Being of Macedonian descent, Zukovic's work is concerned with the theory of Post-Memory and it's relevance to the lost country, Yugoslavia.
Limerick School of Art and Design, First Class Honours Degree
Sep 2012 — Nov 2016
Received a (first class honour ) 1.1 degree and graduated with the highest grade in my graduating year.
Awards and Achievements
Winner of Best International Documentary, İnönü Film Festival, Turkey
Winner of Best Short Documentary, Reykjavik Film Festival
Best Documentary Film Award
Recipient of the Galway Film Centre Bursary
WatchOut Film Festival, Macedonia
May 2017 — May 2017
I was flown to Macedonia and presented the award for winning the experimental film category
Montreal Film Festival, Canada
Aug 2017 — Aug 2017
Awarded winner of the experimental film category.
Cork Film Centre Graduate Award
Aug 2016 — Aug 2016
Received the Graduate award for my Degree Show and presented my work in the Cork Film Centre.
LIT Graduate Award
June 2016 — June 2016
Presented with the LIT Graduate Award for my consistency and degree show work
Exhibitions and Experience
Custom House Gallery, Westport, Mayo
Film Screened in Reykjavik Film Festival
Film Screened in İnönü Film Festival, Turkey
Solo Exhibition, 'Parallel Familiars', Courthouse Gallery, Clare
Solo Exhibition, 'Parallel Familiars, Custom House Gallery, Westport
Official Selection, Waterford Film Festival, Waterford
GAZE International Film Festival, Dublin
The LiftOff Sessions Festival, London
TULCA visual arts Festival
Recipient of Irish Arts Council Film Bursary
Recipient of Galway Film Centre Bursary
Awarded the bursary with a brief to create a short film based in Galway City. I excelled at the task at hand and in the process decided to collaborate with fellow creatives.
Lift-Off Sessions, London, UK
Recipient of The Great Lighthouses of Ireland, Film Bursary
Given the opportunity to stay in Blackhead Lighthouse, Antrim, and to create a short (lm based on the Lighthouse itself and its sister The Great Light, Belfast City. Upon completion my work was screened in the Titanic Museum.
Cinematographer for film, ‘Puma Productions’
An independent emerging (lm production approached me to collaborate on a short experimental (lm as the cinematographer.
‘Parallel Familiars’, Artlink, Donegal
Samples, Mexico City, Mexico.
OGA Visual Art Exhibition, Rome, Italy
Solo Exhibition, Linenhall, Castlebar, Ireland
Film Festival, Madrid, Spain
K-Fest, Kilorglin, Kerry, Ireland
W’ow. 14, National University Kharkiv,Ukraine
Ibrida Film Festival, Flori, Italy
Galway City Gallery, Ireland
Kineova International (lm Festival, Skopje, Macedonia Richter Film, Moscow, Russia
Impressions Biennale, International Arts Festival, Galway
WatchOut Film Festival, Tetovo, Macedonia
Solo Exhibition, The Ivy House, Dublin
Group Exhibition, Clinton Centre, Fermanagh
Solo Exhibition, Cork Film Centre,
LIT Drawing Awards, Church Gallery, Limerick
The Florence O’Vere Lace Drawing Awards, Limerick
HIVE Gallery, Waterford
Group Exhibition, Sailors Home, Limerick
Women CineMakers Magazine
Art Reveal Magazine
The Woven Tale Press Magazine
Into the Void Magazine
Irish Arts Review
Director of 126 Artist-Run Gallery
Sep 2016 — Oct 2019
Directorial position of 126 Artist-Run Gallery, Galway.
Responsible for the smooth running of the gallery for over three years.
With roles including Studio Manager, Technician, Artist Liaison.
Additional tasks of fundraising and curating
Current Artist Statement
Emma Zukovic’s work is concerned with the disappearance of a county, and those who struggle with cultural identity as a direct result. Yugoslavia separated in 1992, and with that the disappearance of a country along with the identity of its inhabitants. Subsequently, in exploring the history of this lost country, the artist is also delving into an exploration of the self and their affinity with the land that no longer exists. Being of Macedonian descent, with first-hand experience of life in the countries of this former collective state, personal considerations play a significant role in the discussion. The driving force that steers the artists’ work is the concept of ‘postmemory’.
“Postmemory” describes the relationship that the “generation after” bears to the personal, collective, and cultural trauma of those who came before-to experiences they “remember” only by means of the stories, images, and behaviours among which they grew up.’’
- Marianne Hirsch
Through means of being submitted to others behaviour and stories of this place has imprinted in her mind, a 'memory' of another life. Experiences and reminiscences, personal stories, and memories of early life at the time of turmoil in Macedonia, have been relevant in the aim of developing a model to critically explore their practice through mediums of film, print and installation.
Zukovic works with these mediums to portray the given concept. The work is predominantly inspired by their natural surroundings, mainly organic matter and wild landscapes, these botanicals motifs were printed in their mind at an early age. The fascination with flora and fauna developed at a time of turmoil and hushed tones from family members respectively.
As a result, the artists’ work depicts many aspects of living organisms which hold underlying metaphors. For instance, examples of work attached shows aluminium and copper plates deeply etched with botanical motifs with their roots displayed, plucked from the soil. This symbol of displayed roots acts as a metaphor for those who have been uprooted from their homes in 1992, and subsequently, their cultural heritage. The botanicals are all native to Former Yugoslavian countries as well as Ireland, ‘that’s where I believe my own heritage lies. The White Dead Nettle features heavily as this particular plant used to cover the fields where my nanny lived in a small village in Macedonia, and it is a vivid memory of mine.’
The act of crudely etching deeply into these shiny surfaces is an important process, the ritual of etching can be an erratic and unpredictable one at that, as is the act of adding patina and tar. The burning of the plates by means of acid mirrors the immolation of a once collective state.
With relation to the film work, most of its content was also shot in the West of Ireland or near my home in the North of Macedonia. Through large video installations and underlying soundscapes, the artist creates an immersive, and sometimes unsettling environment for the viewer.