Featured CPAC Member: Emma Powell


Member Since: 2016

Svala’s Saga (2013 – present) is a collaboration between Emaa Powell and Kirsten Hoving.


Emma Powell lives and works in Colorado Springs and is an Assistant Professor of Art at Colorado College. She graduated from the College of Wooster, and received her MFA in photography from Rochester Institute of Technology. Represented by Lionheart Gallery in New York, Powell has exhibited across the country in several solo and group exhibitions. Most recently, Powell’s work was featured in Fraction Magazine (#97).

Emma Powell became CPAC member in 2016. Her image House of the Reindeer Magician was awarded “Best in Show” in CPAC’s 2016 Annual Members’ Show juried by Tim Wride, Curator of Photography at the Norton Museum of Art.


From the beginning, Svala was the guardian of the birds. But on a cold, gray day, she no longer heard them. They all had disappeared. She searched throughout the land, but only broken shells and empty nests remained.  As winters and summers passed, Svala consulted oracles and interpreted dreams. The message was always the same: it was her destiny to rescue the birds. She bid farewell to home and hearth, then set out across the world on her quest. 

Svala’s Saga is a photographic fairy tale about the journey of a single character and the world she inhabits. As told through fifty interrelated photographs, our strong female heroine, Svala, is confronted with the sudden loss of the world’s birds. She then embarks on a mythic quest: as the Earth heats and cools, she journeys through the wilderness searching for the last remaining eggs.

The landscape of Iceland is an active character in the narrative. Svala interacts dramatically with a variety of visually astonishing rock formations, steam vents, glaciers, and geysers. In this realm of environmental extremes, Svala’s story abounds with magic and metaphor.

We chose to print Svala’s Saga using the historic palladium process coated over a digital/pigment under-print, a process that has been called “Pigment over Palladium.” This hybrid technique lacks the immediate historical references of other vintage processes. Instead, it evokes hand-colored photographs or painted illustrations, reinforcing the combination of fantasy and photography.