For the former Sky Arts Portrait Artist of the Year contestant Emma-Leone Palmer, the past few months surprisingly haven’t been much different to the norm! After the initial shock of lockdown, she quickly found her feet again and discovered an insatiable urge to paint.
We caught up with Emma for the latest issue of our magazine to find out more about her art, her work with the #NHSPortraitsForHeroes campaign and how she stays positive and motivated.
Firstly, what has it been like working in the studio over the past few months?
I moved my studio out of London a few years go to an industrial unit within walking distance of home, so it was easy to keep creating. Artists are essentially lone beings; we spend most of our time within the worlds of our creations, so lockdown, in a sense, was familiar territory: isolation and insane desire tied in with massive uncertainty and a fierce, fervent passion.
Has your art helped you cope with the difficult times we faced in lockdown?
Art shines light into our dark recesses, and it is often in these dark corners of our souls where the strange magic sings. Being in my studio, surrounded by paint and colour and endless possibilities, kept me going. My brushes were my swords, music my vitamins. Armed and alive, channelling all that hope into each brushstroke was my defiance against this wretched virus. We will not be made to feel small; human spirit is bigger than that.
How did getting involved in the #PortraitsforNHSHeroes campaign make you feel?
Painting Nurse Kat for the Portraits for NHS Heroes campaign was my way of giving thanks back. After this, my large canvas came out and the music was turned up even further. There is a massive parallel between the energies of my work and the way in which many of our inner dialogues have undulated throughout this difficult time.
The otherworldly essence is born of internal reflection, self-nurture, stillness, growth and a Gaia-esque femininity that metamorphoses into a primal, warrior-like zeal – and damn don’t we have that in buckets!
"My brushes were my swords, music my vitamins. Armed and alive, channelling all that hope into each paint stroke was my defiance against this wretched virus."
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