Oil by Emma Roberts
Around the Rock
I am a South West artist who makes oil paintings on linen and have a concurrent career in marine journalism.
Although I have always had an art practice, studying life drawing and painting at Exeter College, printmaking at the Double Elephant Print workshop in Exeter, and a number of courses at the Newlyn
School of Art in Cornwall, in 2018 I undertook a year-long mentoring programme at the Newlyn School. Since then, I have been part of a group exhibition in Penzance and have upcoming exhibitions in Cheltenham this year and Totnes in 2021. I was also long-listed for the Mother Art Prize this year.
In 2014, I suffered a rare, life-threatening stroke, which threatened my vision and has left obvious and hidden scars. This exposure to life’s fragility drives my wish to linger when tender moments arise and notice when connections and disconnections occur.
Through painting, I hope to reflect on the importance of memory and how it makes our living history; perhaps enabling us to live with more awareness so we miss fewer tender moments.
I want to try to understand the universal phenomena of how preciousness becomes entwined in an object. It is frequently linked to memory and an object’s ability to help its owner recall a moment in time, a feeling, a person, or a place. I wonder if our innate wish to recall the elements that shape us and make our histories, also drives us to seek tangible reminders of life’s punctuation marks.
As part of this exploration, I create resin casts, some in vintage tins. These can be held and then opened to reveal a story that might connect with the viewer, perhaps imbuing preciousness. I paint miniatures to larger-scale works. Although I am a figurative artist, there is one seascape that I paint, Meadfoot Beach. I grew up on this beach, my mother has had a beach hut there for forty years and every major life event either happens around the beach or I share it with it. This connection drives me to include it my work, often as a ground for other figurative paintings, but occasionally on
Oil on Linen on a Wood Panel