Emma Lawrenson

Emma Lawrenson view artist profile

Background

I’m a full time printmaker, living and working in the picturesque Yorkshire countryside, which is where the inspiration for much of my work stems.
I 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. My work is exhibited in a number of galleries across the UK and in Europe, often as a part of solo or mixed exhibitions, and my work is sold worldwide.

My expertise and knowledge of printmaking spans over 20 years and during this time I have won several awards, exhibited in many exhibitions including the Royal Academy.

Each piece of work is hand printed, sometimes in up to 18 colours using traditional techniques. This is a very labour intensive process 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 conte crayon.

My work has appeared in many magazines including ‘Vogue’, ‘House and Gardens’, ‘Art Review’, ‘Country Living’, ’25 Beautiful Homes’ amongst others. I even have work on film and television sets in America, most recently MAD MEN.

Statement

I love to work using the screen printing process, it enables me to produce smooth, flat and crisp images, exploring shape and form through the layering of colours, textures and painterly marks. I love work that is immediate, for me simplicity is everything.

My work stems from observations made in my surrounding landscape; observations of shapes, spaces, textures and colours.

These are initially recorded as photographs, small sketches or collages and 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 elements and cropping, 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.

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.