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about
magical realism is an integral part of Emmie's art, which may start out based on one place but ends as a coalescence of memories from the past, sights of the present and thoughts of the future…

Emmie is a mixed media artist whose inspiration comes from journeys, mystical tales and the bizarre sights she has encountered. These may be the crumbling beauty of Cuban buildings, the sensory kaleidoscope of India or the time echoing features of Istanbul. Her work often examines the transitory nature of architecture from its planning and construction to its ruins and its structure revealed. It has been said that a building is ‘a volume of human history, holding within its pages the stories and secrets of generations past and present’. The world the artist creates is one in which buildings both within and without are permeated with the disparate details of the lives of their former inhabitants.

If variety and contrasting scenes characterise the choice of subject matter, variety is also reflected in the materials used, with anything from coffee to gold leaf, circuit boards to resin, stamps to spices, integrated into the layers of paint. She uses different printing techniques, a palette knife to initially or a roller to build up layers in an exploratory manner and will then sometimes sandpaper it back, scratch into it and drip or pour paint onto the surface before adding more layers working further on the details.

She is found working from her studio in Bristol or on the move sketching, painting and exhibiting from art residencies. These have included working from a cave in Cappadocia, an abandoned building in Havana and a car going overland to Mongolia. Recently returned from a trip to the Himalayas, Ladakh 'The Kingdom in the Sky' documenting ancient monasteries and temples. She used sand from the ground in the work and is looking forward to making some larger scale pieces.

Emmie work is either in the studio but usually more productive when exploring and working in situ be this from a train in China, a ruin in Havana or cave in Cappadocia. In February 2016 she successfully completed a frozen river circuit in the high Himalayas of India accessing remote valleys and villages cut off by snow during the winter. Despite the cold and treacherous conditions with paint brushes freezing and batteries draining, photos and paintings were carried out and forthcoming work will be based on the village structures, people and temples. She is also considering whether a large scale interpretation of the Taj Mahal can be undertaken. In 2015 Emmie returned to Havana to research further this intriguing city of laughter, music, repression and colourful crumbing structures that has been of such influence in work previous work. Here she became involved in an experimental printers collective intercultural exchange programme. In 2012, inspired by an art residency in Cappadocia, her following work evoke this area of bizarre rock formations, caves, churches and pigeon houses sculpted into the soft sandstone.

Over the years Emmie has enjoyed working with the charity 'The Art Room' which uses art to boost children’s self-esteem and independence, as artist in residence, senior practitioner and ambassador. www.theartroom.org.uk

Emmie’s work is represented in London and Internationally by Quantum Gallery in the last year she has shown in New York, Miami, Hong Kong and Singampore. She shows with a number of galleries and regularly with the Jerram Gallery in Dorset and The Sarah Wiseman Gallery in Oxford. www.quantumart.co.uk/artists/emmie-van-biervliet.html