Based in Holmfirth, West Yorkshire, Emma Lawrenson’s work stems from observations made from her surrounding landscape; observations of shapes, spaces, textures and colours. These are initially recorded as photographs, small sketches or collages, which then undergo a series of fine-tuning once back in the studio before being translated into prints. The finished prints are a result of paring down through a process of subtracting and cropping elements, or the opposite; re-building and inventing new compositions from found elements. The emphasis of the work becomes wholly about shape, colour, proportion, scale and balance.
Each piece of work is hand printed, sometimes in up to 18 colours, using traditional techniques. This process is a very labour intensive requiring each colour to be printed individually, left to dry and then the next layer of colour printed. Some of the prints are finished with pencil or Conté crayon.
The process of screen printing and the time it takes to build up a final image is what holds the beauty of a piece; it’s a fundamental part of its soul. My prints may look ‘designed’, but are often rather intuitively and organically made. They frequently change along the way, colours are tweaked and compositions altered.
Drawing goes hand in hand with the screen printing process. Combining the two enables me to produce smooth, crisp images in which I can explore shape and form through the layering of colours, textures, stripes and painterly marks.
I strive to create something beautiful and understated in my work, and I have always been drawn to work that feels calm.
My work has evolved over the past few years, as I have become more and more drawn to the textures of the rural landscape, which is part of my everyday life. I am very much inspired by surface; its patterns, textures, layers and colours. Recent works are weighted mainly towards a hand drawn element; scraping, scratching and combining different textural surfaces within each print.
Emma Lawrenson gained a BA in Fine Art from the University of Reading in 1996 and an MA in Printmaking from the Royal College of Art in 1998. Her work is exhibited in a number of galleries across the UK and in Europe, often as a part of solo or mixed exhibitions, and her work is sold worldwide. Her expertise and knowledge of printmaking spans over 20 years, during which time she has won several awards and exhibited in many exhibitions, including the Royal Academy. Emma’s work has appeared in many magazines including ‘Vogue’, ‘House and Gardens’, ‘Art Review’, ‘Country Living’ and ’25 Beautiful Homes’, amongst others. She has also had work on film and television sets in America, including MAD MEN. In 2019, Paramount pictures are using Emma’s work for the set of Instant Family.
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