I was born in Lewisham in 1981 and grew up in Catford. I went to Goldsmith university, where I studied education, specialising in art.
I qualified as a primary school teacher in 2003 and then worked at Horniman Primary school for the next 13 years. Although I loved teaching, I was finding it impossible to do anything else and had only painted 8 paintings in the period that I worked there. Eventually in 2016, I decided to leave my job and began painting properly.
I had attended a few evening classes in Lewisham borough and did a life drawing course with City Lit, whilst I was still teaching, but apart from these hadn’t done any further studying and still haven’t! I’d really like to spend more time learning to paint and getting advice from professionals, but as I have a small child, work as a part-time art teacher and a part-time Early Years Art lead, I can’t see this happening for a few years.
I managed to get my first solo exhibition the year I left teaching at the Ripley Arts Centre in Bromley and have since been part of several group exhibitions.
I work in my home studio where I generally have about four paintings on the go! I work primarily in oil and acrylic paints and have always loved the way you can use the paint to create various effects. From using paint opaquely to transparent layering, allowing the colours below to shine through. Although over the years I have changed subject matter, I have always maintained an interest in the use of colour and light and find it amazing how one person can view a colour so differently from another, and the fact that we have limited colour vision – what are we missing?
In my works I manipulate colour for this reason, exaggerating it and altering what I see. Part of what I love about painting and altering colour is the ease at which an image can be changed from one moment to the next, how a change in colour or light can give a completely different feel to the end piece.
My inspiration comes from the environment, what I’m doing and how I feel. I often work from photographs that I have taken.
I currently have work in the Artisan Village in Sydenham, where I also work as the EY Programme art lead, supporting artists to work with the nursery children. There are several artists that work there and have work for sale in their display window. Find out more https://www.artisan-village.co.uk/
I am also part of the Sydenham Arts Trail, which supports loads of local artists. Well worth checking out. https://sydenhamarts.co.uk/artist/emily-brand-art/
And I am exhibiting in this year’s online Beckenham Place Park Art exhibition. This exhibition is linked to the annual Flower Show, but this year has had to move online. There are over 50 artists exhibiting, with all works for sale. See here for more information https://bppartshow2020.wordpress.com/portfolio/emily-brand/