Artist Feature ://
Posted February 2019
Photographs, taken to record her own travels and experiences, are often the starting point for Emily Moore's landscape based work. In particular she is drawn to the patterns and forms of mountainous environments and the contrasting, geometric shapes and lines of the man-made structures which inhabit them. Her paintings explore the tension between these two conficting themes, attempting to strike a balance within the final compositon. A strong architectural influence is apparent in Moore’s work, which often draws attention to mundane, everyday constructons. The physical act of creating a piece, the surface and materials, has always been an important part of Moore's practice. She developed her unique style of painting during her final year at Edinburgh College of Art; working directly onto wooden panels, constructing the image in individual detailed layers, whilst retaining elements of the natural wood beneath.
b. 1984, Aberdeen, Scotland
Lives and works in Edinburgh, Scotland
‘Sólsetur’, Emily Moore. Acrylic, gesso, graphite, enamel, varnish on panel, 2018.
Emily Moore graduated with a first class degree from Edinburgh College of Art in 2013. In 2012 she was awarded the Royal Scotish Academy Keith Prize for the best student work and during her final year she was selected for the Saatchi New Sensations Longlist. Following graduaton Moore was shortlisted as one of ten finalists for the Grifin Art Prize, appearing in an exhibiton at The Grifin Gallery in London, where she was awarded the Grifin Art Prize People's Choice Award and a sponsored artist award. Since graduatng Moore has shown her work internationally as well as regularly exhibiting at the Annual Royal Scotish Academy Open Exhibitons. In 2016 Moore won the Royal Scotish Academy Guthrie Award and in 2018 was shortlisted as one of twenty six global finalists for the Rise Art Prize where she was awarded Rise Art Painter of the Year. Later in 2018 Moore was announced as a finalist for the Zealous Emerge Art Awards and was also longlisted for the Aesthetica Art Prize.
Q. How did your career as an artist begin?
Afer six years travelling I returned to Aberdeen and enrolled in a Portfolio-building course at Aberdeen College. I spent eight months creating a varied body of work from painting, drawing/lifedrawing to design and sculpture. Afer being accepted to study at Edinburgh College of Art, I moved to Edinburgh in 2009 where I still live and work.
Q. Do the surrounding environments of Edinburgh, Scotland influence your work? What and who else inspires you?
I'm not sure if Edinburgh has had a direct influence on my work. I grew up in the outskirts of Aberdeen, surrounded by lots of countryside and spent a lot of weekends, during the winter, up in the highlands skiing and snowboarding. This no doubt led to an interest in the natural environment, then after leaving school I spent six winter seasons snowboarding in France and California which had much more of a lasting impact.
Landscape is definitely my primary source of inspiraton. I'm particularly interested in the patterns and forms found within mountainous environments and the contrastng, architectural structures which inhabit them. During art school I spent time looking at the work of architects, particularly those associated with the post-war modernist movement and artists that were similarly influenced by them.
‘Northern Lights’, Emily Moore. Acrylic and gesso on panel, 2018.
‘Urban Sprawl 2’, Emily Moore. Acrylic, gesso and graphite on panel, 2018.
Q. There are a lot of layers to your work made up of different mediums, whether it be in your paintings or postcards. These often include graphical shapes or patterns. Tell us about the process behind one of your paintings. How do they begin and develop?
Photographs, taken to record my travels and experiences, are often the starting point for my paintings. Each body of work is a documentaton of those experiences, the creative process allowing me to recall each place and combine them to create new, anonymous landscapes. Sometimes I'll start with a building, other times it will be a mountain or some abstract marks. From there I'll continue adding more layers until I think the painting is finished.
The physical act of creating a piece, the surface and materials, has always been an important part of my practice. I work directly onto birch plywood panels, often leaving areas of the raw wood exposed. I experimented with screenprinting a lot during art school and since then have developed my own process, using masking tape and a scalpel to create the layered, tonal images. I often use an overhead projector for the intricate, detailed images, which are then drawn and cut-out by hand. Quite a laborious process but it allows me to combine precise, detailed layers over the rough, painterly ones.
The materials I typically use are acrylic, gesso, graphite pencil, enamel and varnish. I always work using acrylic mixed with gesso as I prefer the surface quality of the paint and it's a lot easier to sand down, without the plastic-like finish you often get with acrylic paint. In contrast I love using gloss enamel or varnish on the final layers of a piece. At the moment I'm continuing to experiment with the layering and process of my paintings. I've long admired the loose brushwork and energy of abstract artists so have been trying to incorporate aspects of this in my recent paintings.
‘Waiting for Sun-seekers’, Emily Moore. Acrylic, gesso, graphite and enamel on panel, 2018.
Q. What is your working environment like? What is the importance of this space?
I currently rent a studio in an old lemonade factory which makes up Albion Business Centre, home to many other artisan companies and makers. My studio is part of the Wasps 'Albion Road' Studio Complex which has 22 studios in total, housing 33 artsts. Although I spend most days working independently, it's nice to be part of a community. We've been trying to be a bit more proactive with organising studio events.
It's my fourth studio since graduatng in 2013 but I'm hoping I'll be in this one for the foreseeable future. It's a lovely space with huge south-facing windows. Not always ideal but I fitted some blackout blinds which are essential when using my overhead projector or early in the morning when the sun is shining through. It's important having a dedicated space for my practice, and somewhere where it doesn't matter if everything gets covered in paint and never-ending dust.
Q. What advice would you give to somebody who is interested in pursuing a university course in art?
It's entirely true that you get out what you put in. In order for you to figure out what your practice is and for your work to start developing you have to be in the studio every day. Take advantage of the amazing workshop facilites provided and try experimenting with as many as possible. I was 25 when I started art school and would definitely recommend taking some time out after leaving secondary education to gain some more life experience before starting a university course.
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