Layered landscapes

PUBLISHED: 12:43 08 September 2015 | UPDATED: 12:43 08 September 2015

Ore Tideline Shingle St by Emma Green.

Ore Tideline Shingle St by Emma Green.


Artist Emma Green will encapsulate both the landscape and plants that grow in the environs of the River Alde, Ore and Deben in an enthralling exhibition set for Snape Maltings, writes Amy Gallivan

Deben Low Tide Storm by Emma Green.Deben Low Tide Storm by Emma Green.

The ethereal qualities of Suffolk’s coastal landscape will be captured in a beautiful yet haunting exhibition set to arrive at The Gallery within Snape Maltings.

Housed in the Granary building and sitting alongside a plethora or interesting shops, is The Gallery which will house a collection of pieces by established artist Emma Green starting September 5 running until October 8.

Guests can travel upstairs to discover Emma’s interpretation of the landscape which she creates by layering oil paints, splattered in flicks and dribbles, slathered on with a palette knife or delicately applied in translucent layers, sometimes revealing layers beneath.

Emma’s palette is subtle - neutral east coast hues of greys, blues, brown, but often punctuated by an area of vivid colour - the neon orange of a mooring buoy at low tide, or a flash of turquoise from an old fishing net.

Sea Campion by Emma Green.Sea Campion by Emma Green.

“I try to capture the ethereal qualities of certain places, the way light alters the landscape, it’s atmosphere and my emotional response to it,” said Emma Green regarding her work. “My style combines traditional subject matter with the energy of contemporary abstract handling of the paint. This exhibition will focus on the river’s Alde, Ore and Deben, the mudflats, saltmarsh and the plants that grow there,” she added.

As a volunteer warden for Suffolk Trust, she says she owes her interest in the landscape from her father, she said: “I grew up exploring, often with my father, the more remote footpaths of this county. It was he who kindled my interest in plants. The intertidal landscape here provides many unique specimens. My new work includes loose depictions of Sea Lavender, Horned Poppies as well as the blossoms that grow along the tow paths in spring - cherry, blackthorn and wild pear.”

One of Emma’s favourite place is Shingle Street, walking back from the mouth of the Ore, with the sky larks singing their hearts out in the sky above, she said: “You come across swathes of pink Thrift, Sea Campion, and clustered low to the ground, Stonecrop. “The vivid electric blue of Viper’s Bugloss (full of bees!) line the pathways. Some say it’s bleak but I think Shingle Street is a magic place,” she said.

Emma, who works one-day-a-week in the Gallery at Snape, will include work on different scales, with the bigger the paintings, the ‘more abstract’ they become she says.

“Working in the Gallery at Snape, I see how people react to a painting. It’s immensely personal. Some people just don’t get my work, but those who do really respond positively. It’s the same for any artist - you can see when a painting is drawing someone in or if it leaves them completely cold,” she added.

Emma says she has been fortunate with exhibitions and the support from galleries in recent years, as she has held her work at Thompsons, Denise Yapp Contemporary in Wales, the recent Alde Valley Spring Festival and of course at Snape.

“Every time I sell a piece of my work I still feel the same as I did the day I sold my first painting as a student, that pleasure and surprise never goes away,” Emma commented.

The artist was born in 1979, and grew up in Eyke and later Woodbridge, Emma studied Art and Design Foundation at Ipswich Art School before doing a Fine Art Degree in Hull.

“I adored that big dark old industrial city but I returned to Suffolk in 2002 where I have continued to work in a shared studio near the river Deben. I’ve worked in the Gallery for ten years, and I love it. I’ve become familiar with the changing light on the beautiful river Alde which meanders it’s way to the Maltings, avocets flying up in flocks as the tide comes in. Often the Marsh Harrier swooping in low and slow too. The reedbeds here have a completely different feel here to when the Alde nears the Sea at Aldeburgh, where passing Slaughden and the Martello Tower it seems wilder somehow,” she said.

“The work is nearly ready for the show but I feel like I’m only scratching the surface. Suffolk’s coast provides so much inspiration, it is everchanging. Whether it’s the shifting weather or seasons or the tide creeping in, transforming the soft lines of the Suffolk landscape in a wondrous watery world, I see it and I can’t ever imagine not wanting to try and capture it in paint,” she added.

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