About Emma Oughtibridge
My starting points are often 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 inspiring features within the undulating and staggered landscape of Holmfirth. However, as principally an abstract painter, my work is composed in an abstract way and I am led instinctively by colour, mood and mark.
Ideas are mainly expressed through rich layers of oil paint, and personal meanings can be found inscribed, scratched or defined upon or under surfaces. Craggy textures and surface manipulation is 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 love the contrast of direct mark with the evocative nature of floating forms. In addition, I use tinted transparent glazes to harmonise and bold palette knife marks to reintroduce structure. 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 is a reoccurring theme in my work. I also rub away, spray, stipple, sand and carve into my pieces to disrupt the traditional surface and composition of the painting. There is a physicality to the making of each piece.
After completing a Fine Art BA (Hons), I graduated from Brighton University as an Art & Design tutor in 2000. I exhibit widely and successfully sell work privately. I moved to Holmfirth from London in 2005 to set up a studio. Prior to this, I taught as a Head of Art. At the moment I teach Art at Rochdale Sixth Form College, alongside working as a practicing artist. My studio is based at Radiant Works, Huddersfield.