Emily Ball - Director

Emily Ball - Director


Painting for me is physical, direct and an opportunity to create visual poetry. Observing and making studies directly from my subjects gives me the basis for my vocabulary of marks. Then back in the studio I use these and improvise, compose and phrase my marks and motifs to create paintings. Finding the feeling and describing the intangible becomes an ingredient that pushes the images somewhere new. Writing in response to my subject and work also acts as a helpful catalyst to give focus. There are two themes that are current in my work. Firstly 'Pale Beauty', my daughter and the protective feelings that I have for her. I have been making Mother and daughter portraits to explore this. Secondly revisiting the woods behind my childhood home making a series of paintings and drawings with the working title of 'Longing and Sweet Sadness'. Responding to Nature's chaotic beauty, the urgency of time passing and nostalgia for my memories of growing up there as a catalyst to explore new work.


Emily Ball was born in 1967 in Colchester Essex. She went to Exeter College of Art where she gained a BA in Fine Art Painting in 1989. She continued developing her painting, doing residencies, undertaking public commissions and exhibiting in the South East for the next 10 years. Alongside her painting she established privately run courses in Contemporary Painting and Drawing in West Sussex. In 1999 Emily gained an MA in painting from The Surrey Institute of Art & Design, Farnham. She had her first child in 2001 and second in 2004 and during this period produced ambitious and successful paintings. Emily’s drawings have been exhibited in both the Derwent Drawing Prize 2020 and the Trinity Buoy Wharf Prize 2021. She has exhibited at the RA Summer Exhibition and been a prize winner at the National Open Art Exhibition (NOA), judged by Maurice Cockrill RA, Jennifer Durrant RA and Nicholas Usherwood, art critic.

In August 2005, in recognition of her reputation and talent as a painter and teacher, Seawhite of Brighton (supplier's of art materials) gave Emily a large studio space in which to paint and teach within their premises. In 2009 she published her first book ‘Drawing and Painting People – A Fresh Approach (reviewed by Matthew Collings and now in its eighth edition). Emily curated her book launch exhibition showing the work of the artists interviewed and included in the book. These included Rose Wylie, Roy Oxlade, Georgia Hayes and John Skinner. The show was opened by Matthew Collings and Emma Biggs. In 2012 her second book was published 'Emily Ball – Painting'. This book is a 25 year retrospective look at the development of her own work. Now, in 2022, she is director of her Painting School 'Emily Ball at Seawhite', and has a team of artist tutors running courses at the studio and online. The school has grown, as has its international reputation. Students from all over the world to attend courses and Emily also travels to Cape Town in South Africa, Portugal and nationally across the UK to teach painting. Emily is a short course tutor at West Dean College near Chichester.


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The Swimming Pool Paintings

These paintings are my largest body of work to date. Inspired by watching my young children learn to swim, I quickly became captivated by the interaction between the figures and the water surrounding them

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Emily Ball at Seawhite,
2 Downs View Road,
East Sussex,
BN25 4PT
Telephone: 01903 743 537
Email: admin@emilyballatseawhite.co.uk


Emily Ball at Seawhite
Seawhite Studio,
Star Road,
Partridge Green
West Sussex RH13 8RY
United Kingdom