+64 9 303 1090 | artis@artisgallery.co.nz
  • Ode to Rachel Ruysch & Matisse

    From the ‘A Little Garden’ series
    23k gold leaf on Hahnemuhle paper
    800 x 630 mm
    Series of 10
    Framed 1080 x 920 mm

Emma was born in Liberia, West Africa in 1967 and lived in England before arriving in New Zealand aged six, where she still resides in the beautiful twin-harbour city of Auckland.

A former nurse, Emma went to live in London in the early 1990s where she fell in love with photography at the Camera Club in Leicester Square where she learnt darkroom techniques and took part in her first group exhibition.

On her return to New Zealand, she became one of that country’s most adaptable commercial photographers, working freelance for over 20 years and winning awards. Emma’s diverse portfolio is testament to her compassionate, yet thorough, approach.

In 1992, Emma began exhibiting her art photography and has established a strong following. In 2016, she was the only New Zealand artist to be invited to appear at the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition in London.

Her two most recent collections – Imperfect (2016) and Embellish (2017) – are floral portraits that explore the nature of beauty. Lusciously seductive, the striking compositions also deliver a sharp bite of reality. In a world obsessed with perfection, these portraits of flora ‘on the turn’ or augmented with paint and objects find beauty in decline and demise, and question the authenticity of enhancements.

Emma explains, “I want to challenge our concept of beauty. For me, Imperfect frames reality; the flaws themselves are beautiful. In Embellish, I draw on the style of the Dutch Masters – and question the value of illusion.”

Her latest floral portraits, A Little Garden, present themselves as referential explosions of delight, paying homage to the artists whose practice has resonated with her holistically – Matisse and the Dutch Masters.




2018 – Artist in Residence, Your Home and Garden
2018 – Perfect imperfection, Good Magazine
2018 – A Beautiful Deception, Photo Magazine
2017 – Embellished with Meaning, The Hobson
2017 – Bass Notes, NZ House & Garden

2018 – Embellish, Waiheke Art Gallery, Waiheke, NZ
2017 – Embellish, Smyth Galleries, Auckland, NZ
2014 – New Work, Black Asterisk, Auckland, NZ
2014 – Imperfect II, Black Asterisk, Auckland, NZ
2013 – Imperfect, Diversion Gallery, Picton, NZ
2012 – Imperfect, Red Gallery, Nelson, NZ
2012 – Imperfect, Black Asterisk, Auckland, NZ
2001 – Bloom, Chiaroscuro gallery, Auckland, NZ

2019 – On Paper, Artis Gallery, Auckland, NZ
2019 – Sea Conversations, Waiheke Art Gallery, Waiheke, NZ
2019 – Nature Morte, NKB Gallery, Auckland, NZ
2018 – A Garden on the Wall, Jonathan Grant Gallery, Auckland, NZ
2018 – Anthophile, Daniel Raphael Gallery, London, UK
2018 – Sizzle, The Waiheke Art Gallery, Waiheke, NZ
2017 – Not Just Flowers, The Vivian Gallery, Matakana, NZ
2016 – The Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy, London, UK
2016 – The Birthday Invitational, The Artists Room, Dunedin, NZ
2016 – The Flower Show, The Vivian Gallery, Matakana, NZ
2015 – Botanical works, Tree Gallery, Whanganui, NZ
2015 – A & P Show, The Vivian Gallery, Matakana, NZ
2015 – Bloom, Opus Gallery, Whakatane Museum, NZ
2014 – The Flower Show, The Vivian Gallery, Matakana, NZ
2014 – Light Side/Dark Side, Millenium Gallery, Blenheim, NZ
2012 – Fabulous Darling, Black Asterisk, Auckland, NZ
2012 – Opening Show, The Vivian Gallery, Matakana, NZ
1992 – Metalmorphosis, Morgan Le fay Gallery, Auckland, NZ


2016 – Finalist in the Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
1993 – Finalist in the Wallace Art Awards, Auckland, NZ

Emma Bass in Next Magazine