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'A Little Garden' · New Work by Emma Bass for her upcoming exhibition at ARTIS Gallery - 25 February 2020. Image courtesy of the artist

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.

 


SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS AT ARTIS

2020 – A Little Garden, ARTIS, Auckland


SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

2020 – Beauty Matters, NZ Life & Leisure
2020 – In full bloom, Mind Food
2019 – A Little Garden, La Botanica Magazine
2019 – My Vase Collection, Stuff
2019 – World of Interiors
2019 – Spring, NEXT Magazine
2019 – World of Interiors
2018 – Kate, Canvas Magazine
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


SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2019 – A Little Garden, ARTIS Gallery, Auckland, NZ
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

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
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

AWARDS

2019 – Shortlisted finalist in the Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
2016 – Finalist in the Summer Exhibition, Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK
1993 – Finalist in the Wallace Art Awards, Auckland, NZ

Emma Bass in La Botanica Magazine

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