Wanderings: An exhibition by Emma-Louise Grady at the Upright Gallery

3 Barclay Terrace, Edinburgh EH10 4HP, UK, Edinburgh

30th July-20th August 2021

Emma-Louise Grady (2021) Wanderings Exhibition Spilled Secrets 59cm x 84cm Acrylic paint, Posca pens

The artwork of Emma-Louise Grady has interested me for some time as I managed to see her graduate show in 2019 at the University of Dundee. The development of this artist from then until present day highlights her talent as a skilled artist, her unique creative process, and the positive promotion of her artwork through her own website, social media, and gallery exhibitions including both online virtual shows and on-site options. Through reviewing her progress including her most recent exhibition Wanderings I have been able to increasingly understand the processes involved regarding planning and organising exhibitions including the additional promotional strategies which are required to be seen, followed, and liked, to develop a customer base and added interest in what you do and what you have to offer. Through winning awards and scholarships this artist was able to capitalise upon an increased range of opportunities. While she was still in her fourth year at Duncan of Jordanstone College in Dundee, Emma-Louise won the Royal Scottish Academy John Kinross Scholarship, which gave her the chance to work in Florence for two months. In addition to this Glasgow firm Enterprise Mentoring chose her as their artist-in-residence, which set her up in a city centre studio and last year, she was given the opportunity to exhibit her work at the Royal Scottish Academy for its exhibition, New Contemporaries 2020, where she was awarded the prestigious Fleming-Wyfold Foundation Award, for ‘best painter or draughtsman/woman’.

The Wanderings exhibition was described as a feast of colourful mark making combined with vivid colours and intense details which are the hallmarks of Emma Louise Grady’s art. Her work is intuitive free and fluid. Each piece is unique and stands for its own sake. Every mark is committed to creating a ‘world’ that exists only for and within itself. Through these ‘worlds’ Grady hopes that the viewer becomes so absorbed that they completely forget where they are and what they were thinking, to offer respite from these continually challenging moments which are experienced within this pandemic. Indeed, the exhibition does not disappoint with such a use of colour and pattern, with each image readily holding and capturing one’s attention for extended periods of time. Colour plays a major role in her work as colour is used to make bold ‘statements’ as she combines them with more muted tones. At the outset of a painting colour is applied with the use of ‘fluid’ layers of acrylic paint after which she overlays her intricate patterns using ‘Posca’ pens. It’s often as if the original paint work is left to show through to create this sense of a portal into another dimension which is infinitely more positive and joyful. Working primarily with base paints and acrylic paint pens, Emma-Louise Grady produces big, bold, colourful artworks, which are highly decorative and draw the eye in to the fine detail. https://www.glasgowtimes.co.uk/news/

Emma-Louise Grady noted that her paintings explore the practice of intuitive mark-making like aboriginal art using vivid colours which are influenced by her surroundings and environmental influences as well as her own creative process. Through the exploration of patterns, her work represents a sense of letting go and forging her own imagery. The patterns created are unique to each painting, allowing them to stand on their own. With every intricate detail committed to her painting, it creates worlds that exist only within each other. Each piece created has endured a variety of process stages involving 5-6 primary colours, allowing it to have a significant amount of layering to each painting, creating a sense of depth. In a world where commitment to a concept is favourable, her work stands alone as vibrancy takes the lead. https://www.emmalouisegradyart.com/

Not only was the artwork breath taking with its degree of skill, intricacy, imagination, quality of paint work and design readily apparent and on show with its capacity to translate seamlessly into textiles but the way that the exhibition has been organised, promoted, and sustained was inspirational. The exhibition was advertised through numerous sites including all events with a promotional flyer. https://allevents.in/edinburgh/wanderings-by-emma-louise-grady/

All Events Exhibition Promotion-Exhibition Flyer for Wanderings Emma-Louise Grady 31st July-20th August 2021

In addition to this the Upright Gallery which hosted and promoted this exhibition used their online website to advertise the artist including the use of artwork imagery, related information, artist talks through a series of online video clips, and they produced a beautiful Exhibition Catalogue to accompany the exhibition which was available free from their website. https://www.uprightgallery.com/

Upright Gallery Online Website Exhibition Promotion including exhibition details and video clip of artist talks

Earlier this year Emma-Louise discussed her work online with the gallery and this talk can be viewed at: http://www.uprightgallery.com/artist-talks

Artist Statement
My paintings explore the practice of intuitive mark-making. Inspired by eastern Asian aesthetics; my surroundings also influence my creative process. Through the exploration of patterns and aesthetics my work represents a sense of freedom and fluidity. Colour is an important part of my process and is used as the main guideline to inspire my mark-making. The patterns created are unique to each painting, which allows them to stand on their own. Each piece created has endured a variety of process stages, allowing it to have a significant amount of layering to each painting, creating a sense of depth. Working on larger scale boards allows my patterns to be thoroughly detailed, producing an intense and vibrant aesthetic. Limiting my colour selection to only five or six colours benefits the aesthetic appeal as it generates focus on the marks made. My work represents an intuitive led, mark-making process which I hope to entice and excite the viewer with. https://newbloodart.com/artist/emma-louise-grady

Emma-Louise Grady (2021) Art Website was designed by the Wix.com website builder which offers many options and possibilities for website design
Emma-Louise Grady (2021) Lillypad 59cm x 84cm Acrylic paint, Posca pens, oil pastels
Emma-Louise Grady (2021) Details from Lillypad 59cm x 84cm Acrylic paint, Posca pens, oil pastels
Emma-Louise Grady (2021) Details from Lillypad 59cm x 84cm Acrylic paint, Posca pens, oil pastels
New Blood Art The Degree Shows 2021 including the work of Emma-Louise Grady throughout the online website
Tatha Gallery Online Website Exhibition Promotion including exhibition detail, information, and artist details
Emma-Louise Grady (2021) Artwork Imagery from the artists own website https://www.emmalouisegradyart.com/
Emma-Louise Grady (2021) Lunar Lake 82cm x 123cm Mixed media, acrylic, Posca pens and oil pastels on MDF
Emma-Louise Grady (2021) Detail from Thieves and Beggars 82cm x 123cm Mixed media, acrylic paint, Posca pens and oil pastels on MDF Board
Emma-Louise Grady (2021) Detail from The Weather Dial 82cm x 123cm Acrylic paint, Posca pens
Emma-Louise Grady (2021) Detail from Strawberry Kisses 62cm x 44cm Acrylic paint, Posca pens. Framed.

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