Emma Condliffe


Emma Condliffe’s Paintings capture the rebel in us all.  In her portrait of a boy texting under the classroom table, Condliffe captures in paint a disaffected youth culture. This humorous portrait, with its thickly painted surface shows a seriously confident handling of paint.

My paintings explore the relationship between the photographic and the painted image. These portraits do not aim to mimic the photograph, but instead have a raw-ness and an honesty about them, wanting each brush stroke to be as evident as the compete picture, contrasting with realist painters, whose painting aims to represent the photograph as precisely as possible.

I use photography as the starting point to capture the image. The images that interest me are the ones that capture a moment in time or a fleeting expression, the very soul of humanity; something that would be lost with the subject in front of you. In translating the image from photograph to painting, the image is examined and deconstructed into abstract brush strokes and layers of colour, yet maintaining a representational quality and not losing the original narrative.

Emma Condliffe studied Fine Art at the Exeter School of Art & Design from 1995 to 1998 specialising in painting.  Schooled by John Virtue, she was influenced by his monochrome palette and strong brush marks.  At this time she was interested in the portraits of Francis Bacon and his depiction of the figure, but also interested in the manipulation of paint used by Gerhardt Richter.

Interested by the very nature of paint, its pliability and the contradiction between the representational image and the abstract nature of its form, she creates work which is figurative, but within which the paint remains a vital and evident element. Condliffe’s work seeks to question how this representation can then evoke an emotional response from the viewer.

Emma Condliffe has shown work nationally and lives and works in Streatham, South London.

Previous exhibitions:

Contrasts, Espacio Gallery, London 17th – 22nd Oct 2013

Matter1010, curated by Sara Twomey, The Exchange Tower, Canary Wharf, 7th -11th Oct 2013

Streatham Festival, Open Studios, London – Jul 2013

Sci-Fi Macabre – Art  Club, Red Gallery, 1-3 Rivington Street, London – Nov 2012

Face to Face, Espacio Gallery, London 27th September – 2nd Oct 2012

Streatham Festival, Open Studios, London – Jul 2012

ASC Open Studios, London – Oct 2010

Urban Art, Brixton, London – Jul 2009/10

Streatham Artists Open Studios, London – Jul 2009

Earth-Water-Concrete-Steel-Brick, Group show Lloyd Gill Gallery, Weston-super-Mare – May 2009

ASC Open Studios, London – Sep 2008

Preview, Group Show at Number 22, London – Aug 2008

Unstill Life, Solo Exhibition at Number 22, London – Feb-Apr 2008

Masque of the Red Death, Punchdrunk , Portraiture Commission of Patrick Romer RSC – Sep 2007

ASC Open Studios, London – Nov 2007

Arts Unwrapped, London – Jun 2007