Emily Ball attended Exeter College of Art where she gained a BA hons in Fine Art Painting in 1989. She continued developing her painting, doing residencies, undertaking public commissions and exhibiting regularly in the South of England for the next 10 years. During this time Emily was tutored by artist, John Skinner, at the Abbotsbury Studios, Dorset. These outstanding courses have contributed hugely to the development of her paintings and teaching. Alongside her painting, she established privately run courses in contemporary painting and drawing in West Sussex.
In 1999 Emily gained an MA in painting from The Surrey Institute of Art & Design, Farnham. She had her first child in 2001 and her second in 2004 and during this period produced her most ambitious and successful paintings. She has continued to paint and successfully had work accepted for the RA Summer Exhibition in 2004 and won 2nd Prize in the Chichester Contemporary Open in 2005, judged by Maurice Cockrill RA, Jennifer Durrant RA and Nicholas Usherwood, art critic. In August of 2005, in recognition of her reputation and talent as a painter and teacher, Seawhite of Brighton (suppliers of art materials) gave Emily sponsorship in the form of a large studio space in East Sussex in which to work and teach. She is also a short course tutor at West Dean College.
“Emily's paintings delight in capturing moments of the mundane, of taking a sideways glance at the familiar and of celebrating the joy and oddness of everyday life. The paintings are a direct, physical, sensual and emotional response to her children as she studies them discovering their own world and engaging with her. However, they are not sentimental portraits. They are tender, powerful, true responses to two small people: images that are exploring the bond between artist and subject, mother and child.
The artist urges the viewer to “access an overall sensation of the paint and the subject", to view the images as poetic rather than as narratives. Her determination to create a pertinent language with paint that successfully makes an emotional and physical connection between artist, subject and audience (showing a striking similarity to Will & Eve's determined characters) gives these paintings an energy and potency that grabs you at a gut, instinctive level. How do these paintings make me feel? Happy, scared, wistful, vulnerable, excited, responsible, playful, thoughtful, tender ...” (From an essay by Jane Nash, 2005)
The paintings that she has produced for this show are based on the experience of her children swimming and are entitled ‘Dive and Float’ l, ll & lll and the images here are details from these paintings, each painting measures 0.9 x 2.4 m.