Based in Kent, Emily has been exhibiting in solo and group shows since 1998, predominantly across Kent but also in London, Manchester and Birmingham. Recently exhibiting in the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition (2014), the Mall Galleries, the Ruth Borchard Self Portrait Prize and was also a contestant in the Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year series 2014.
Inspiration comes from many sources including Lucien Freud, Francis Bacon, Spike Milligan, Tim Burton, Cindy Sherman, song lyrics, Egyptian tomb painting and the Pre-Raphaelites. The work covers a range of subjects based upon everyday life and mythology.
I am obsessed with faces.
They show a person’s life, and can look different on a daily basis, a perfect canvas to convey different sides of your character. But more than this my fascination is with the colouration and fragility of skin and within my portraits I strive to bring these issues across. My concern is more with the flesh then the actual likeness.
Many of the images are severely cropped and large in scale to enhance the confrontation. The faces are exposed to close scrutiny, emphasising the fragility of the face and person. As we gaze intently at them a combination of senses unfold and question. This questioning is the most important factor of the work, from the everyday issues of beauty being skin deep to a beautiful woman becoming a freakishly bizarre creature.
Drawing and mark making play a significant role, repetition of marks, layering on different colours. This can be a violent process, pressing paint through fabric, manic stitching – quick actions due to a short time-scale. These 'routines' and combinations of materials trace my thoughts and fixations of the paint/skin and lead to an ongoing exploration of abstraction.
Since 2011 I have used wildlife imagery to experiment with fabrics, predominantly British species but I am inspired by curiosity cabinet displays and my mother's Bee collection.
I am striving to close the gap to what is deemed 'craft' and what is 'art'.