Brian Sinfield Art Gallery
Em Isaacson uses her pastels to express her love of colour, her fascination with texture and exploration of line.
She has developed a unique style from her heritage of weaving and defines imagery by manipulating her pastels as if they were thread, watching an image emerge from the paper, weaving together the power of colour with the control of line to capture the essence of her subject whether it is figurative, landscape or floral.
With an honours degree in textiles, her background spans teaching to degree level, a directorship of a historic woollen mill, head of the woven textile studio working exclusively for the John Lewis Partnership traveling Europe and north America and involvement with both the British Crafts Council and the Royal Society of Arts.
In 1998, she left the UK for South Africa where she became noted for her pastel paintings of African women who moved and inspired her. “To embrace them with colour, to define them with line and texture is the only way I know to express my admiration for their beauty and their strength”.
She was hung at South Africa’s leading gallery, The Everard Reed, as well as the residence of the British High commission. In London her work has been shown alongside artists such as Paula Rego, Jacob Kramer and Jack Vetriano at galleries including The Boundary, Thompsons and The Catto.
Her portrayals of African women has been admired and collected in both South Africa and the UK and are held in both private and world wide corporate collections.
“ It is as if the figure is already there, invisible to me, hidden deep within the paper, waiting for me to stroke it into life by touching it with soft lines of colour. It is my tapestry on paper.”
Three years ago Em returned to the UK and now lives and works in the Cotswolds.
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Contemporary British artist Kieran Stiles (BA Hons Falmouth). "The subject in these paintings is made up of several different reference points, rather than one single view. Each piece is more of a compilation of layered visual moments, inviting the viewer to consider the reality of how one experiences the world. The experimental use of paint with all its curious touches and surprising textures, is in complete philosophical agreement with the subject. The paintings are expressive, but modest, and not so expressionistic as to disturb the meditative quietness that inhabits all his works. Although abstract, the theme of the object is always present and visible dispite its dissolving clarity."