Emma studied Art alongside English Literature at the University of York St John. Graduating with a First Class Honours degree and the University's Humanities Prize, she was awarded a British Academy Scholarship to undertake an interdisciplinary MA by Research in English with History of Art at the University of York. Her interest in literature complements the poetic nature of her painting.

Depicting evocative land and seascapes, Emma's work often incorporates a lone female figure as a tiny abstract symbol. Seeking to portray an emotional connection, the expansiveness of nature acts as a foil to human concerns with memory and solitude. Emma's expressive style mixes semi-abstraction with a keen interest in composition; amorphous horizons leading the viewer on a visual journey. Her use of colour is both dramatic and ethereal, often giving the works the feeling of being poised on the borderline between day and night. They are charged moments, filled with remembrances past and possibilities for the future.

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Of her process, Emma explains "Texture is integral to my work and I enjoy freely evolving this through the layering of materials. I paint primarily in acrylic, but combine this with a variety of other media such as heavy gesso, acrylic mediums, glazes and inks. I enjoy the process of developing areas as they emerge, rubbing back and building up, scratching into the surface and working with palette knives, fingers and a variety of drawing implements as well as brushes to create diversity in my mark-making."


Her combination of landscape, figure and mood created through mixed media techniques can be seen as a contemporary intepretation of Romanticism. The totem-like figures are as timeless as the land, sea and sky, merging the inner with the outer world. Frequently taking inspiration from the big wild skies of her native Yorkshire, she also spends time in both Cornwall and Cumbria, their different light and colour bringing variety to her palette, yet echoing the same poignant mood.

Emma is represented by Silson Contemporary in Yorkshire, Eastwood Fine Art in Hampshire, Portside Gallery in Bristol and The Linda Blackstone Gallery in London and Overseas. She participates in a variety of exhibitions, or you can contact her to arrange a visit to her studio in York. In 2019 she was elected an exhibiting member of Leeds Fine Artists, one of the oldest and most prestigious arts organisations in the North of England. She was also awarded the Inspired By Gallery Supporters Prize at the inaugural North York Moors Art Awards. You can find her latest news on social media.

"...a woman, standing alone, profiled against the sky,
like an organic part of the entire motionless structure."
Thomas Hardy, Return of The Native


All images © Emma Whitelock

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