The Dresser of Dreams relieves confinement frustrations

Emilie Maude
Emilie Maude

Andrew Churchill, Gallery Director, said: “It was such a joy to have Emily’s work in the gallery. Its color is like a firework explosion and its reference material is a lot of fun to identify.

“Emily is a Brighton-based artist and designer, having trained in illustration at the University of Brighton.

“Emily’s studio is based in her home and is full of beautiful, eclectic items that inhabit her work. From her sunny studio, she creates illustrations and beautiful housewares inspired by nature and heritage, folk art and travel. Spending her summers in rural France provides much of the inspiration behind her illustrations as well as being inspired by Great Bardfield artists such as Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden.

She sold her collections internationally to clients such as Liberty and Paul Smith. She has done illustration work for clients such as The New York Times, Octopus Publishing, Canns Down Press, and Amazon and is represented by Spinning Yarn.

The exhibition is called The Dresser of Dreams.

As Emily explains, “During the lockdown I found it very difficult not to have the museums and galleries that I call upon for inspiration, so I began to imagine what might be in the homes of the others. Works of art have become my dream dresser and so rooms have evolved.

The exhibition features her greatest works ever, which Emily describes as extremely difficult.

“Since my founding year, I’ve been told to work bigger, but naturally I like to work small.

“I realized I needed to make bigger pieces for the space and decided to give it a try and get out of my comfort zone.

“I liked the challenge, but I was often frustrated because I also sometimes work in a corner myself, so the office space was always overcrowded! When this started to happen, I just put them aside for a few days to start over. In the end, I’m glad I pushed myself because I’m really proud of these pieces and I can imagine them in someone’s kitchen, maybe alongside their own dream dresser.

Emily also paints on the back of the glass for some of her artwork.

“Painting on glass can be particularly difficult and I tend to do one or the other, never mixing normal paint and reverse paint to avoid confusion.

“I first fell in love with art about ten years ago when I visited an incredible artist called Jacqueline Humbert who, along with her husband, owns a wonderful museum of popular and provincial French art in Burgundy. She very generously showed me some of the processes, tips and techniques in her beautiful studio.

“Everything has to be worked backwards, so you start by working with the details, gradually building up the layers behind until you’re done with the very last background. It’s a bit like engraving in that you have to think backwards. I did a lot of printmaking in college, so I managed to pull through.

“I have always been inspired by the beautiful use of lines and textures by Eric Ravilious, as well as the brilliant linocuts of Edward Bawden and the concept that good design can be applied to any surface. “