For Global 12 Festival 2019, Emily Thomas will be presenting a selection of work inspired by
contrasting architecture in London. The exhibition aims to reflect London as an open-minded
and multicultural city, and will also navigate the audience around the Festival.
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 particular place. She then
carefully selects photographs to communicate her ideas, taking both conceptual and aesthetic
factors into consideration. Emily uses collage 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 as it 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 particular materials in order to re-create
a sense of place and portray the key characteristics of the area they are representing. This is
illustrated in ‘Hackney, I love you. I lost you.’ which was inspired by a doorway that she
photographed in Hackney. Emily printed the photograph of the doorway’s graffiti onto canvas
and then built this into an architectural structure. Due to the texture of the material, the print
appears as a realistic painting of the site, as well as a re-creation. The painterly effect aims to
evoke an impression of Hackney’s creative community and culture.
Colour is a vital component of Emily’s work and is significant within the architecture that she
chooses to photograph. Certain areas of the city embrace bright colours and welcome street art.
In contrast, clear white buildings with blue glass 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 Somerset in 1996. Growing up in a small village with a population of just 300
people, Emily became fascinated by both the city and its people when she moved to London in
2014. After completing her Foundation Diploma in Arts and Design with Distinction at
Camberwell College of Arts, Emily began her Fine Art degree at Chelsea College of Arts and
recently graduated in July 2018. Since then, Emily has been selected for artist residency
programs in Berlin and Taiwan, which have culminated in significant exhibitions. Other recent
career highlights include exhibitions at La peau de l’ours (Brussels), Black Swan Arts (Frome)
and the Oxo Tower Wharf Bargehouse (London).
Emily will showcase at Global 12 Festival 2019 taking place at Cargo in London on the 31st of August 2019.