Aberdeen Meets the Alps | Emily Moore’s Alpine Paintings on Panel

Posted in In the Studio by Bethan Street on 18th December 2018

Meet our Rise Art Prize 2018 Painting Award winner, Emily Moore. The Aberdeen-born artist uses acrylic paint, graphite and varnish on wooden panel to create landscapes inspired by '60s purpose-built ski resorts. By playing with different textures, Emily reveals and conceals the materials and mediums involved in her practice.

Emily in her studio, up in Edinburgh.


The artist trained at the Edinburgh College of Art, where she was awarded the Royal Scottish Academy Keith Prize for the best student work. After graduating, Emily received the Griffin Art Prize People's Choice Award. She has since shown her work internationally and she exhibits regularly at the annual Royal Scottish Academy Open Exhibitions. We caught up with Emily to find out more about her journey as an artist.

Dreams of Rooftop Pools at Sonar by Emily Moore


Did you always want to be an artist?

No I had all sorts of wild ideas, from fighter pilot to vet. But by the time I'd finished secondary school I knew I wanted to go to art school. My mum enrolled at Grays School of Art as a mature student and I loved visiting her painting studio which no doubt had a big influence on me.

One of Emily's works in progress.


What would be your advice to those wishing to become an artist?

I would definitely recommend going to art school. Don't expect to graduate as a successful artist - it's just the beginning. But the four years I spent at Edinburgh College of Art were invaluable. After that it's a case of continuing to make as much art as possible, most likely alongside other jobs but it's always worthwhile for the studio time.

Below the Bellevarde by Emily Moore


What inspired your unique, bold and graphic style? How did this style develop?

I spent the second semester of my third year at Massachusetts College of Art and Design as part of the International Exchange Programme. Whilst there I enrolled in a screen printing course which had a huge impact on my practice. In fourth year I experimented with screen printing onto canvas and since then have developed my own process, using masking tape and a scalpel to create layered, tonal images. 


Emily with Dreams of Rooftop Pools at Sonar at the Rise Art Prize 2018 finalist exhibition.


I often use an overhead projection for the intricate, detailed images, which are then drawn and cut-out by hand. Quite a laborious process but allows me to combine the precise, detailed layers over the rough, painterly ones. Similarly all the sections with a graph-like grid are done by hand using a pencil and overhead projection or a piece of original graph paper as a guide.


Untitled by Emily Moore


Your work foregrounds the similarities between the harshness of the rural mountainous landscape and the urban environment. What about this interests you?

I think a lot of it stems from my winter ski seasons. My first two seasons in particular were spent living in these 1960s concrete, purpose-built resorts in the Alps. It's such a striking environment: these huge man- made structures in contrast with the stark, mountainous landscape. Similarly the pylons and chairlifts which dot the terrain when you're up in the mountains. Those six seasons were a life-affirming experience and consequently the mountains still have a big pull on me and my work.


One of Emily's studies on birchwood.


What drew you to working on birchwood rather than canvas?

Throughout art school I spent the majority of time working on canvas but as my process developed I found that plywood was much more forgiving, especially when using a scalpel. I initially started working on really small panels but my two Degree Show pieces were large 152 x 122cm plywood sheets with a lot of the wood left exposed. I've always been drawn to the contrast between the natural wood and painted surface.


Image courtesy of the Evening Express.


What are your ambitions for 2019?

Having just completed a large body of work for my first solo exhibition in Edinburgh last month, I'm looking forward to spending a lot more time in the studio experimenting. I'd like to exhibit some more work where possible and hopefully get back to some screen printing.


BROWSE Emily's Work >>