Following Foundation Art & Design at Ipswich Art School, Emma went on to a Fine Art Degree in Hull. After graduating in 2001, she returned to Suffolk where she now lives by the river Deben and works from a studio nearby. Being immersed in this landscape of marshy saltings, it’s scents and sounds, the muddy estuaries and beaches of shell and shingle provide an endless source of inspiration.
“I’ve always been drawn to isolated stretches of beach and areas where the rivers meet the sea. Working in oils, the compositions of my recent work combine large areas of more ephemeral, transient elements of sky, sea or estuary, balanced by the suggestion of more solid forms – a lone cottage or boat hut. I love the physical act of painting and the sensuousness of the medium. Paint is applied freely, gesturally, allowing thinner swathes of paint to run and dribble while other areas are more thickly applied. The layering of paint allows for some areas to be scraped back to reveal hidden colours, forms and textures.”
The work of artists who explore and push the possibilities of paint are a endless influence to Emma, from Callum Innes’ lush monochrome works where turpentine dilutes whole panels of colour to leave only a whisper of it’s original brilliance, to the mesmerising texture of Joan Mitchell’s abstracts with their thick impasto surface and flicks and spatters of paint.
With landscape painters it’s the artists who really immersed themselves in their subject that she identifies with, among them Joan Eardley (her Catterline paintings), Peter Lanyon – the Cornish landscape intersected and seen from all angles, even from the air, and Constable, his meticulous studies of the Suffolk sky.
“Let me watch night fall on the river,
The sky move,
The ocean shimmer,
The hedge shake,
The last living rose quiver-”
“The last living rose” P.J Harvey from the album “Let England Shake”