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Emma Oughtibridge – Artist Blog

Updated: Sep 21, 2021

We are very excited to introduce you to Emma Oughtibridge, one of the artists who will be showcasing their work at featured@fairtrader for the next few months.

How long have you been an artist?

After completing a Fine Art BA (Hons), I then graduated from Brighton University as an art & design teacher in 2000. I moved to Holmfirth from London in 2005 to set up a studio. Prior to this, I taught as a Head of Art. I now teach A Level Art at Rochdale Sixth Form College, alongside working as a practicing artist. I have 22 years’ experience teaching art up to A Level. I exhibit widely and successfully sell work privately.

What inspires your work?

My starting points are rooted in my local environment and include rock forms, cobbles emerging through tarmac, quarries, stone walls, old buildings, aged surfaces, and other structurally interesting forms. There are many local inspiring features within the undulating and staggered landscape of Holmfirth. However, as principally an abstract painter, my work is composed in an increasingly personal and expressive way, and I am led instinctively layering colour, mood and mark.

What mediums do you use?

Craggy textures and surface manipulation are a huge part of my work; I want my work to have an energy and vibrancy and to evoke underlying feelings of a sense of place, or environment. I adore oil paint and its rich buttery nature as it slides off the palette knife.

During the painting process there is a constant struggle within each piece to bring balance: paintings run away with themselves into areas of complexity and simplicity. Edges are lost and found again. A love of the warmth of gold leaf and ochre is a reoccurring theme in my work this year. I also rub away, spray, stipple, sand and carve into my pieces to disrupt the traditional surface and composition of the painting. I enjoy the physicality of the making of each piece, each piece should be a challenge.

What do you like about Fair Trader and why did you choose to exhibit here?

I have always loved the cavernous nature of Fair Trader. It really is the most amazing place to seek out a unique handcrafted piece. The shop has a lively and vibrant feel and frequently adapts to show local crafts makers and artists. This year I feel privileged to play a real part in their ethical trading ethos.

You can see a selection of Emma's work in the top room at Fair Trader for the next few months.

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