I was told have a look at the paintings by Emma Webster recently and I’ve immediately become enthralled by them!
Her paintings are highly theatrical. Always landscapes of ‘wild’, sublime looking lands full of trees, rolling hills, pools of water, vast skies. You can tell she’s influenced by romantic painters like Thomas Cole. Except unlike the work of a painter like Cole, the trees and ground in Webster’s paintings roll and curl, furling in and out in beautiful shapes. The hand of a maker has clearly made these shapes. Shapes of clouds and branches and smoke look too designed to be ‘natural’. Like William Morris print designs, shapes curl and uncurl, folding outwards in elegant swirls.
The light in her paintings is also staged. White light glows from unknown sources casting eerie shadows and glows across pockets of the landscape.
In a video interview with Webster she says ‘we are so seduced by fiction’. This is so true of her paintings. The rich colours, sumptuous sweeps of paint. Intriguing pathways through to glimpses of distant views. The viewer is lured into the painting, I want to crawl inside and explore. Except I can’t! Webster paints tantalising landscapes.