Emps Piece: Stories of Lincolnshire

'Emps Piece: Stories of Lincolnshire' is an exhibition of new work by MA Fine Art students and staff from the University of Lincoln.

Where: Usher Gallery

When: 28th April - 19th June 2022. Open Thursday - Monday, 10am - 4pm.

Emps Piece is Lincolnshire dialect for a ‘choice cut’ or 'best bit'. Usually used in connection to meat, it is applied here to both the objects and stories of Lincolnshire and to the artworks created in response. The idea for the show is partly inspired in part by Grayson Perry’s 2006 exhibition at The Collection, ’Charms of Lincolnshire’.

The artists have responded to the starting points selected by museum curators, examples of which will be shown alongside the artworks; these include: 
‘Gleaning’ was an activity often carried out by peasant women, where they ‘gleaned’, or gathered the leftovers from, a field of stray stalks of wheat after the harvest. 
The ‘Haxey Hood’ is a long-running traditional event held on the Twelfth Day of Christmas in North Lincolnshire. A large group (the "sway") pushes a leather tube (the "hood") to one of four pubs, where it remains until the following year's game. 
‘Lark Lure’ and ‘Eel Stang’ are both tools for catching food, often by those from rural Lincolnshire communities. The Lark Lure’s flashing rotating mirrors thought to replicate the courtship markings of the skylark, which led the birds to be captured and killed for food. The Eel Stang is a distinctive forked stick for catching eels in rivers. 
The ‘Tiddy Mun’ is a legendary bog spirit, who was believed to have the ability to control the waters and mists of the fens of South Lincolnshire and the carrs of North Lincolnshire. 
‘Lincolnshire Dialect’ - Lincolnshire has a very particular and unique dialect and colloquialisms that are in danger of being lost. Frank Dobson made recordings of the dialect throughout his life as a way of preserving this important oral heritage.

Each artist has selected one of these starting points to make new work that they have developed in conjunction with objects found in the collections of the Museum of Lincolnshire Life, The Collection and Lincolnshire Archives.

The exhibition will take place at The Usher Gallery from 28th April to 19th June. 

The artists are Andrew Bracey, Alana Butler, Mark Chamberlain, Jantze Holmes, Karina Kaye, Sian Wright, Ruth Lennon, Luke Pietnik, Amber Richards Megan Rigby-Hopkins, Poppy Scoulding, Rocky Mol Selvaraj, Whitaker / Wright


  • Saturday 30th April, 10:30am-12:30pm – Join the artists for coffee and tea for the opening celebration of the exhibition. This is a chance to talk to the artists about the work in the exhibition.
  • Saturday 28th May, 12-4pm – Everyone is invited to come and glean from and take away a bit of Whitaker / Wright’s artwork. This will transform the work as it evolves from one state to another at the midpoint of this exhibition. 
  • Saturday 11th June, 2-3pm - Artists from Emps Piece will give an informal tour of the exhibition. This is an opportunity to hear more about the artwork in the exhibition and the connections made to the uniqueness of Lincolnshire.