Mrs Emma Bush

Mrs Emma Bush

Doctoral Teaching Assistant

School of Art, Design and Architecture (Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business)



Doctoral Teaching Assistant BA Fine Art.

School of Art, Design and Architecture. (Faculty of Arts and Humanities.)


2019 PDAP Teaching and Learning for HE

2008 MA Art and Ecology MA, Dartington College of Arts, Distinction

2002 BA Theatre – Dartington College of Arts, 1st Class

Professional membership

Associate Artist with Coombe Farm Studios, a rural arts centre based in Dittisham, Devon.

Research Associate with -




Teaching interests

Emma Bush is Lecturer in Fine Art at Plymouth University and has worked at various educational institutes including Dartington College of Arts and Winchester University.

Emma is currently working across 1st and 2nd year modules including: Fine Art Practice, Conversations in Art and Art and Context.

Her areas of special interest are performance art, art and ecology, walking, embodiment, vital materialism, collaboration, and sensory orientation.




Research interests

Emma’s current PhD research investigates materiality and memory using; walking, writing, material -memoir-making, and workshops, as research in performance contexts. This practice-as-research places centrally the notion of memory shared across bodies, times and places using Stacy Alaimo’s idea of ‘trans-corporeality,’ which lays out a path of transit between material agencies from the human body through water, chemicals, cells, soil, air, blood and bone.

Through a study in ‘shared acts of sensing,’ communal acts of looking, listening and more broadly sensing orientation and perception research focuses on particular ways of framing communal observation - operating around the idea that these are performance acts aimed towards a radical permeability. 

By exploring memory, materiality and the passage of time through performance rituals and tools the research aims to show how embodied memory can be nurtured and reflected upon to reveal levels of synergy between bodies and environment that can change thoughts and value priorities concerning both. In search perhaps of a gentler way of being that places an ethic of care at its centre alongside listening and attentiveness, the practice-as-research aims to open up connective spaces that potentially offer rest, repair and recovery.

Selected projects:

2018 – ongoing - ‘The feel of the tiniest latch has remained in our hands’

Performance Lecture;

Dartington Stream Festival – Sept 2018

Royal William Yard Test Space – Oct 2019

Focusing on memory, materiality and the immanence of loss- the talk creates a close-up encounter whilst challenging conventions of time. Beginning in a process of making material memoirs with my mother Kathleen Bush (81) and Gail Marie Gauden (76) the work focuses on sensory re-call and shared acts of sensing. Using a collection of small objects that can be held in the palm of the hand the work creates an intimate environment through storytelling on memory shared across bodies, times and places.


2019- ongoing - Night walk

Commissioned by the Eyeview Cultural Programme based in Torbay and made in collaboration with artists Mary Loveday and Anna Keleher. Night Walk is an ongoing project which offers an opportunity to experience ‘shared acts of sensing’ on a coastal walk to Elberry Cove, Brixham. Through a gentle play of communal experience, we arrive together in this place at night-time, using our bodies as sensory instruments to navigate the darkness and to notice what is already there.


2017 – ongoing - warm-up

‘warm-up’ is a research group curated by Emma which began in 2017; a series of small scale research gatherings with a low-key intimate atmosphere encouraging reciprocal learning and teaching. Over the past two years events have been hosted at various locations including: Coombe Farm Studios, Dittisham; Landmatters Permaculture Co-op, East Allington; Dartington and Harberton. ‘warm up’ explores embodied approaches to place, and extended modes of sensing by using a variety of methods. Arts and Ecology professionals gather together to share methods from areas including visual arts, sound, radio, voice-work, somatics, ornithology, naturalism, statistics, botany, choreography and performance.


2010 - Village walk

Guided performance walk through Harbertonford village. Process involved: engaging a range of participants, collecting oral histories, introducing writing and devising tasks to a group of 'non-performers' and trained performers. Investigated social ecologies through workshops, walks, and conversations on local flooding, weather and wildlife. Village Walk has been written about by artist academics Cathy Turner and Dee Heddon for the series ‘Walking Women’ and by Phil Smith in the Routledge International Handbook of Walking.


2008 - City walk

Commissioned by Plymouth Visual Arts Consortium for ‘The Animal Gaze’ exhibition. Tracking between the city's centers of culture: Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery, University of Plymouth, Plymouth College of Art and Plymouth Arts Centre. City Walk was made in collaboration with Mary Loveday Edwards.

Other research


Nov 2019 - How do our bodies act as instruments of sensory navigation? A study through ‘shared acts of sensing’

Conference Paper for Walking’s New Movements – Conference at Plymouth University. Currently editing paper for publication arising from conference.


Oct 2018 - Collaboration; settling the limits for the empty page

Co-authored with Mary Loveday for a special issue of Theatre, Dance and Performance Training. Training Places: Dartington College of Arts: Routledge, Taylor and Francis Group.

Full Article:

June 2012 - Place is learning us

Conference paper – for ‘The Home and The World,’ Dartington Hall - with collaborator Mary Loveday. Facilitated accompanying workshop in the gardens at Dartington exploring internal and external landscapes through exercises in walking, orientation and perception. 

(Paper available at

Nov 2009 - Five Rooms

'Five Rooms,' is a book of collaborative writing by propeller published by 'Acts of Language,' Plymouth, Nov 2009. The project was funded by the Transatlantic Consortium; a collaboration between the Dartington Hall Trust, Idyllwild Arts and the Californian Institute of the Arts. Launched at Arnolfini Gallery as part of C Words, a season of events curated by Platform on arts, activism and climate change.