Emily Budd’s sculptural practice expands on the transformative and collaborative power of foundry craft to imagine queer and ecotopic futures. Her work seeks queer futurity and place-making through reformative monuments, artifacts, and memorials, including her project Memorial for Queer Rhyolite in a Nevada ghost town which has been published nationally. Budd received an MFA from California College of the Arts in 2018 and is currently based in Las Vegas, Nevada where she leads the expanding community foundry project, Aluminati, while serving as Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture at UNLV.
My practice traverses the mystery, awkwardness, survival, and ultimate expansion of queer desire and futurity. A background in foundry craft and paleontology inspires an artistic practice that uses fiery material transformations to excavate reformative artifacts and memorials in the search of queer futures. Experiences as a foundry craftsperson and metalworker allow me to navigate between structure and experimentation within a queer context, exploring the possibilities of a separated difference. Sculptural and installation work discovers genderfluid renewal, expansion and dreamscape as an approach to challenging heteronormative hegemony.
Foundry techniques embody processes of inherent transformation and relationships to deep time that I explore as a queer practice. Recycled metal is melted and recast into metamorphic objects that point towards tending and flourishing, for endings and beginnings outside of linear time. Cast metal components are created using my own version of the ancient lost-wax casting technique. I use wax to pull traces from found garbage, single use plastics, discarded clothing, and other unwanted or ignored things. Immortalized in cast metal, they defy queer exclusion in history, while riding the dynamics of genderhood to the brink of nonnormative inevitability.