Emily is an artist living and working in London and became a member of art collective Plastic Propaganda following her 2016 solo exhibition “Fatherland”. A degree in History of Art from UCL has informed her work with a rich legacy of symbolism and broader understanding of the context of her making. Specialising in oil and mixed media paintings, her work is nostalgic and introspective and yet asks universal questions about the human condition and inevitability.
Emily’s work inhabits a hinterland between shrouded figuration and lyrical abstraction without seeking to identify itself fully with any genre; its desire is to communicate the subjective emotional experience as well as the universal. Although it is not always obvious because of her strong focus on texture and the visual quality of decay; she does not consider her paintings to be wholly abstract as they are deeply rooted in the formal qualities of the natural world and negotiate very real, often painful memories of time and place. Her work often evokes the early magic of childhood and is typified by the themes of personal loss and mourning, the inevitable decomposition in nature and the body, and the memories which are ultimately all that endure. She has become increasingly preoccupied with the dichotomy of life and decay as inseparable, as one and the same. For a lot of life the destruction of one thing is necessary for the growth and renewal of another.
There is always the hint of an unspoken grief which never quite unravels itself from its decorative expression. Her aesthetic choices and appropriation of nature’s allegory betray an idyllic childhood in the English countryside and a fixation on the inextricable relationship between beauty and decay. Colour and texture are central to her work as motifs in themselves. Her choice of colour is in fact a very deliberate way of expressing the gravity and, moreover, the tragedy of life. Romantic pinks and yellows, pastel hues, neon, iridescence, glitter and gold leaf all belie a deep sadness as she invites the viewer to consider that we always look backwards, at our childhood through rose-tinted glasses. We never quite accept that it’s over, lost forever to time, and we are alone now.