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Artist Influence: Emily Lister

Going to an Art School surrounded by creative people 100% of the time is both a privilege and a curse I think. As someone who is constantly switched on and visually stimulated by my surroundings I have never really been good at the whole relaxing thing. Over the last couple of days I have been talking to Emily Lister, who studied Fine Art. It has been a real eye opener for me as she is someone who is full of everything I keep telling myself about an artist, whether that be to slow down and remember I have three years and a whole lifetime to pursue creative ideas or to just be kind to myself and learn that having days off doesn't make me a bad person. In the long run it will do me some good.

I have been looking at her work over the past couple of days and it has really struck a chord with me. Her subject matter for a lot of her projects in some way or another is something I relate too heavily and it is really intriguing to see how she has tackled an idea.

"Following an autobiographical narrative I am aroused by abstraction and ambiguity. My constant self-exploration is reflected in themes including the body, mental illness and the home. My most recent practice has been fuelled by my current situation; expressing the uncertainty and frustration I am facing as an unemployed graduate, seeking work and recognition within the art world." Emily Lister

The idea of ambiguity and abstraction is something I am very much interested in as an artist because it plays on the idea that the viewer can find their own narrative and associations within a piece of work. For me as an artist not knowing myself the exact meaning of a piece and the fact it can have really broad interpretations is an idea I like because at the time I made the piece I was feeling something and trying to convey something. However I like the idea that I could go back to it in 5 years time and feel something completely different.

I relate to art on many levels but it takes special pieces to actually make me think on another level. I have great respect for artists who have multiple meanings to their practice. This is why Emily's work has really made me stop and think. Her work has allowed me to feel when in recent weeks this is something I haven't been able to do. I am lucky to know her and putting a face and voice to the artist behind the work helps the viewer engage with it more.

I relate to a lot of her work straight away from the titles of pieces. She uses media in combination which is something I also love to do. She provides ambiguous narratives but my mind just clicks with them and I find my own meaning. Her work has helped provide a sense of clarity for my own current "issues". She is an artist who works in many different medias but it is her drawings which I love.

Below I thought I would share with you some of my favourites. She uses colour and mark-making in combination with very strong effects. You can tell that rather than just trying to convey a narrative she is also emulating how she feels. This is something I try to do through repetitive mark making but she provides a representational narrative that I related to straight away. There is humour, dark qualities and a real emotional side to her work which I think people will relate to.


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