Emma Bradford’s paintings explore the emotional resonances of colour and rhythm in a way that draws on memory, landscape, and music. The swing and invention of her work recall her early days as the tenor saxophonist in a jazz band, where freeform improvisation was always tied to a strong rhythmic base of repeated riffs. Her abstract work is all about landscape; her landscapes are all about abstracted emotion. Her work looks equally good in private houses or public spaces, such as offices.
Painters whose work Emma particularly admires include Henri Matisse, Pierre Bonnard, Mark Rothko, Wolf Kahn, Ellsworth Kelly, Patrick Heron and Howard Hodgkin. Their work has influenced Emma’s innate sense of the intimate relationship between colour, form, and feeling.
Since taking up painting fulltime in February 2005, Emma has worked mainly on cycles of abstract paintings: the Chromatic series, which are colour mood-pieces inspired by landscape and light; the Rhythm series, vibrant works that explore the border between the planned and unplanned in their carefully controlled use of spattered paint; the Gee’s Bend series, inspired by the African-American quiltmaking tradition of Gee’s Bend, Alabama; the Dance of Colour series, intimate colour studies that attempt to sequence the DNA of colour itself; and the subtle colour-field Patina series. She has also been making prints (linocut, drypoint, monoprint, and chine collé) on her hand press.
In the last couple of years Emma's work has become more figurative, especially in two series of works inspired by her garden, the Garden series and the Pond series. The Garden series shows the influence of Joan Mitchell in its vibrant colour and the use of many different sizes of brush to give a multi-dimensional feel.
Emma Bradford has previously shown at Merriscourt Gallery, Pennifex Gallery, Freshwater Gallery, Knollbury Studio, and the Jam Factory. Her exhibition Lines and Spaces was shown at Dimbola Lodge, Freshwater, Isle of Wight, from 15 July – 10 August 2008. Her work is in private collections in the UK, continental Europe, and the USA.