Emily Thomas, 1996
Current Artist in Residence at La Escocesa, Barcelona
Emily’s creative process begins with walking as research to explore new places. Documenting her progress through photography, she analyses the thematic, repetitive features of buildings as well as their structural forms and materiality. These aspects of architecture have the ability to communicate the historical, social and cultural characteristics of a place. She then carefully selects photographs to communicate her ideas, taking both conceptual and aesthetic factors into consideration. Emily uses collaging as a technique to study her images. This allows her to visualise the possible outcomes of her photographs as three-dimensional abstract forms.
Emily is intrigued by our human desire to categorise everything in terms of form and function. This instinct is challenged through her work which sits somewhere between painting, sculpture, object and architecture. Materiality is therefore a fundamental aspect, as the viewer intuitively attempts to define it in terms of medium. Emily selects materials to re-create a sense of place and portray the key characteristics of the represented area.
Colour is also a vital component of Emily’s work and is significant within the architecture that she photographs. Some places embrace bright colours and welcome street art. In contrast, clear white buildings with two-way mirrors reflect capitalist progress, with an attempt to appear as transparent institutions. Colour has the ability to encourage conceptual interpretation and assert visual impact.
Emily was born in a small village in Somerset (UK) and became fascinated by the city when she moved to London in 2014. After completing her Foundation Diploma at Camberwell College of Arts, Emily began her Fine Art degree at Chelsea College of Arts and graduated in 2018. Since then, she has been selected for residencies in Berlin and Taiwan, which have culminated in significant exhibitions. Other career highlights include exhibitions at La peau de l’ours (Brussels) and Oxo Tower (London).