Emma Smith

Emma Smith is a visual artist based in the UK and works internationally. She creates platforms for people to share research, experiences, knowledge and action through online and site-specific events, installations, temporary and permanent works.

Previous projects include for Tate Modern, Barbican, Whitechapel, Bluecoat, Whitworth, ICA and Arnolfini with international projects across the globe.

The Plot

Emma has created Phuplec for Cromwell Road, Cambridge, UK, where she is the artist-in-residence. Cromwell Road is a plot of land with a history of growing and making. Originally fields, this area was sold off after enclosure and in 1927 was turned into allotments. These allotments were tended to an almost professional level by shift workers at the nearby concrete and iron factories. While many of these allotments were developed as housing as the local population grew, the Cromwell Road site became a wood workshop and yard in 1938. In 2021 this site will become new homes, green space, a community centre and nursery. This project takes this moment of development to embrace sustainable and bio-diverse know how and propose new futures.


Emma was commissioned as artist-in-residence for Cromwell Road by Cambridge Investment Partnership (CIP) as part of Resonance-Cambridge.

Resonance-Cambridge is the public art programme commissioned as part of the Cambridge Investment Partnerships (CIP) programme of new housing. The public art projects will see the delivery of events engaging with the existing and new communities, together with permanent artworks installed across the new housing programmes. For further information please visit: www.resonance-cambridge.co.uk

* *PHUPLEC – Pronounced ‘foo-pleck’. PHUPLEC derives from the Proto-Indo-European perfective *bhuH, meaning to become, grow or appear. From this root word comes the English word future, the Latin futūrus (about to be) and esse (to be), the Greek phuō (I grow / become) and phusis (nature), and the Old English bēo (I become, I will be, I am). Phu- is combined with an abbreviated version of the Old English *plecc (pleck or plack) meaning a plot of land, place, spot or patch.