Emma is a Bristol-based artist who creates abstract works using pigmented plasters and sand. She discovered these materials in 2020 while removing layers of wallpaper from a 1930s house. The distressed wall that was exposed had many layers of plaster, filler, paint, chalk, and charcoal. These marks, left by so many people over a period of ninety years, felt like a hidden document of living history. The colours—pinks, roses, taupes, and off whites—textures, and marks were a beautiful abstract representation of the memories of those who had lived and worked in the house.
Inspired by her own memories of exploring natural environments and the textures and colours she captured in her photographs of the wall, Emma began making abstract works with these same materials. She continues to experiment with the process, adding layers of plaster and texture, and then scraping and sanding back areas to smooth and expose the colour that sits underneath. Her current work is a continuation of her ongoing exploration of these materials and techniques.
This latest body of work “fade” brings in a greater variety of colour with more vibrance, glimpsed through translucent layers of bleachy whites. What appears to be pale and pastel at a distance shows flashes of intensity upon closer inspection, accentuating the layers and creating a juxtaposition between layers of high saturation with stark white.