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Emma Bulley



Emma Bulley studied painting and drawing at London Metropolitan University in the late 80's, did an MA in Fine Art at Cardiff (1992) and completed a PhD in Art Theory at Liverpool in 2005. She has 16 years experience lecturing in Higher Education most recently in Hull and Worcester, in both art practice and contextual studies. She is a practising painter and has exhibited mainly in the North of England.

My art practice comprises painting in oils and acrylics as well as drawing. My artworks do not have one specific subject rather draw on recurring images or motifs - the ribcage, a dead bird - metaphors for my main themes of embodiment and impermanence. I generally produce work within series over a number of years .

My current paintings, acrylic on card, investigate the interrelationship of written, visual, gestural and spatial language(s). I use formal devices, most recently a white square, to call attention to the manner in which painting has to negotiate two and three-dimensional space, playing with the relationship between these dimensions. By interrogating notions of image-making and the picture surface, my work addresses the contemporary question of what constitutes painting.

I am engaged in painterly experimentation and use figurative references playing with the boundaries of 'good' and 'bad' painting. I seek to emphasize gestural mark and formal elements of colour, line, form, space and depth. My work intends to provide a succinct moment or brief narrative within an informed re-working of the Romantic. As such I seek to build on the tradition of avant-garde expressionism, particularly that of the Abstract Expressionist Movement.

I paint for sheer joy of mixing pigment and making marks. Art-making is a realm for me when I can both allude to the real and where I can attempt to bridge the gap between my ideals about the world and reality. While my work is planned, I also allow for the outcome to be dictated by the process, hence it is always partly unknown. My work is informed by a broad overview of contemporary art practice; it intends to return a spiritual imperative to Contemporary art. I make art because I believe in arts radical potential, that it can change not only the individual psyche, but more fundamentally enable changes to occur in the social and political fabric.


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