For Global 12 Festival 2019, Emily Thomas will be presenting a selection of work inspired by contrasting architecture in London. The audience will be invited to interact with the work by building their own models to add to the exhibition, based on their own impressions of the city. This will result in an exciting final installation, reflective of London as an open-minded and multicultural city.

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 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.