Longing and Sweet Sadness

My current work has the theme of ‘Longing and Sweet Sadness’. This focus began in 2021 but really galvanised and gathered momentum after the death of my father last Autumn, 2022. I drew and painted in the woods at the back of my parents house. This is where I played as a child, making camps and exploring. It is where I made huge paintings for my degree show after the hurricane of 1987, when I was in my early twenties. It is the place where my children played, camped and went on bluebell walks every year when they were small. It is where I walk now when I visit my 91 year old mum.

The things that I notice and love now are laden with my memories of all of these times. As I paint and draw I am not searching to paint the view but instead exploring a language in paint that could give visual metaphors for the beauty, impermanence and rawness of Nature. I am reminded that all my senses are vital to inform my response; the movement of my body as I walk, the smell and feel of the earth under my feet. The sound of birdsong, the discomfort of working outside, the quiet space for reverie. I cluster marks, distress, mop, edit, knot, caress and balance between order and chaos in each painting. Each time it brings my attention to the particular; gentle paper clatter of leaves falling, piercing slats of amber light; luminous, looming, dimming, fading, draining away. The sap falling and rising, sleeping and waking; revealing the bare bones of the woodland weave.

Emily Ball June 2023

Monday, 27 June 2022


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