Emily Thornton: ESCAPE
Emily Thornton’s new paintings explore her ongoing quest to create a visual sense of escapism through the depiction of anonymous physical and inner landscapes. Emily paints from remembered landscapes and remembered feelings of them, which she then channels into her paintings. They use abstraction as a method and her experience of landscapes as a source.
Central to her work is the idea of marks reacting physically and emotionally to other marks and although she never has a fixed idea of each one’s potential outcome, often when the last physical brush mark has been laid, the subject comes back. The paintings are built slowly at first, as long periods of time are spent deciding where each mark should go and then as time progresses she approaches the work and paints quickly. This method allows her to play with the liminal, as her landscapes are transitional, poised between transient expression and physical permanence.
What drives her approach to painting is her obsession with colour and the need to discover new ways to express balance and tone. She is in constant pursuit of determining how each colour reacts and interacts with another. Often a single anomalous element of colour found nowhere else in a painting can anchor and ground the equilibrium of an entire composition.
The emotional content, rather than the literal subject matter, is key to her. She aims to affirm that people’s experience of landscapes, emotions and memories are entirely interconnected and equally ever-changing subject to the constant shifting tides of their existence.
“Will that memory—the ancient moment that, due to the attraction of an identical moment, has come from a far off place to move me and incite recollections in my deepest self—will it ever plumb the very depths of my full consciousness?” Marcel Proust in À la Recherche du Temps Perdu.