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Emma Copley


Glimpses of the everyday and human connection are ongoing threads within Emma Copley’s work. Each painting is inspired by everyday life: a dark sink full of dishes with the sun coming in the window, or her son and daughter sitting with their backs to her, watching TV. She takes pictures of these moments; make notes on colour and sketches. Using the photo as a starting point she creates the composition on panel and eliminates areas from the image in order to intensify the emotion.

Emma’s largest works are 14 metres long and smallest 15 x 22 centimetres. Her paintings begin with muted tones, using greys tinted with primary colour, ending with an infusion of bright colour that relates closely to these. She spends a lot of time looking at her palette and mixing groups of colour. Brushstrokes vary between smooth, slow, thoughtful marks and fast, thick layers of paint.

Emma paints and draws with thick oils on wood; smooth, flat gouache; ink and charcoal on paper. When using oils, she paints quickly with a palette knife spreading globs of paint on a smooth hard surface, wet into wet, carving out forms and building up texture.

Emma has a BFA in Painting from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MA in Fine Art from Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge School of Art. She was one of 25 artists shortlisted in The Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize 2016 and was a semi-finalist in the Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year Award in 2015. Emma has shown her works internationally in exhibitions and fairs in the UK, the US, and Italy, including the ING Discerning Eye exhibition, Lynn Painter Stainers Prize, and The Other Art Fair (London). She had her first solo exhibition in London at The Hospital Club in October and began an artist residency at Stephen Perse Foundation in Cambridge in November 2017.



2017  Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge School of Art, Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, Distinction

2001  Rhode Island School Of Design, Providence, RI, Bachelor of Fine Arts, Painting

2001  European Honours Programme, Rome, Italy, Rhode Island School Of Design


Group Exhibitions

2017 October, ‘Epilogue’, Gallery 9, Norfolk St, Cambridge

2017 September ‘Flare’ MA Degree Show, Ruskin Gallery (Rus 205), Cambridge School of Art

2017 June ‘Axis’ MA Fine Art and Photography Exhibition, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge School of Art

2017 May ‘This One’s For You’, collaborative work by Nina Lewis and Emma Copley, Cambridge School of Art

2017 April 13th ‘Collaboratory’ Artspace, Cambridge

2017 30 Mar-6 Apr, Sustainability Art Prize, Ruskin Gallery, Cambridge School of Art
2016 Dec, 15-18, Mapping Translations,  Artspace,  Cambridge

2016 October 6-9, The Other Art Fair, Old Truman Brewery, London

2016 Sep 29-Oct 2, Cambridge Art Fair, Josephine Harpur Gallery

2016 June, 16-22, The Aldeburgh Gallery

2016 June, Lynn Painter Stainers Touring Exhibition, Guildford Art Gallery

2016 April, The Ashurst Emerging Artist Prize, Ashurst llp, London

2016 April, Introducing, Beside the Wave, Primrose Hill, London

2016 March, Lynn Painter Stainers Prize and Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London

2016 February, Ecriture Feminine, Edgar Modern, Bath

2015 Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year Exhibition, Lyme Park National Trust, Cheshire

2015  ING Discerning Eye Exhibition, Mall Galleries, The Mall, London

2015  Summer Exhibition, Addenbrookes Art Programme, Cambridge

2015  Creative Reactions, Pint of Science, St Barnabus, Cambridge

2015  Cambridge Drawing Society, Guildhall, Cambridge

2012  The Sketchbook Project, Brooklyn Art Library, Brooklyn, NY

2012  Icing: Emma Copley Claire Sherwood, The Arts Center, Troy, NY

2012  Fatal Abstraction, Painting installation, Upstate Artists Guild, Albany, NY

2012  Allscapes, The Art Center of the Capitol Region, Troy, NY

2008  Emma Copley & Owen Sherwood, In collaboration with Martinez Gallery, Troy, NY

2006  Away, Clarion Contemporary Art, London, England

2006  Child, Clarion Contemporary Art, London, England

2002  Artist’s Group of Charlestown, Boston, MA

2002  Francesca Anderson Fine Art, Lexington, MA

2000  Disegni Dagli Album, European Honours Programme, RISD, Rome, Italy

Solo Exhibitions

2017 October, ‘Pictures of You’, The Hospital Club, London

2013  Changing Spaces, Regents Street, Cambridge

2011  Dreams and Memories, Salem Art Works, Salem, NY

2008  Nitty Gritty, Yates Art Gallery, Siena College, Albany, NY

2002  New Paintings, South West Gallery, Bethlehem, NY

2002  After Italy, Italian American Fine Arts Gallery, Worcester, MA

2001  The Show, Senior Thesis, European Honours Programme, RISD, Rome

Awards / Residencies

2017-2018 Artist in Residence, Stephen Perse Foundation, Cambridge

2017 Longlisted for Painting Now, Studio 1 Gallery, London

2017 Shortlisted for the Sustainability Art Prize at Anglia Ruskin University

2017 Commissioned in January to create a painting for British Airways Advertisement

2016 Selected for ING Discerning Eye Nov 17-26

2016 Shortlisted (final judging) Sunday Times Watercolour Award, London

2016 Shortlisted Artist for The Ashurst Emerging Art Prize, London

2016 Pre-Selected for the New English Art Club Annual Exhibition, London

2016 Selected for the Lynn Painter Stainers Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London

2015 Semi Finalist for Sky Arts Landscape Artist of the Year

2015  Shortlisted (final judging) for the National Open Art Competition

2015  Selected for ING Discerning Eye Exhibition, Mall Galleries, London

2014  Award funding, Access Art / Arts Council East UK, 40 Artists Educators

2012  Runner-Up, Creative Quarterly‘s 28th Int’l Competition, Best of Art and Design

2012  Awarded New York State grant, series of free public art classes, City of Troy, NY


2017 Featured in March Issue Artists and Illustrators Magazine as ‘Painter to Watch’

2016 Saatchi Art online blog Canvas, ‘One to Watch’ interview 17 Dec

2016 ING Discerning Eye Instagram Takeover! 16-26 Dec

2016 Aesthetica Magazine online blog, interview Nov

2016 Nov Issue Featured article in The Artist Magazine, UK


all images © Emma Copley

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