Emma Alcock

Light Through a Window | 2002

Oil on Canvas 36 x 28 inches

Egg III  |  2004

oil on board 9.5 x 7 inches

Emma Alcock paints as an aid to contemplation.  All paintings are journeys into stillness, in the sense that they are the creation of still images.  Stillness, for Alcock, is quietness, the quietness that enables feelings and thoughts to emerge that are normally brushed aside in our rush-through lives. She clings on to sights familiar to her – flowers in a vase, reflections of trees, sets of steps – as if her life depended on them, and in a real way, it does, because in these she finds meaning, elusive yet memorable.  She uses paint to trap feelings without throttling them, by means of a gentle but firm touch.

Her art veers between defined representation and total abstraction.  I’ve chosen two images that hover between the two. In Light through a Window the light, as it dissipates, becomes more substantial than the window and the wall. The shaded flats on either side are crucial players in this drama of dispersal.  Egg III is also a reversal.  The egg becomes a drop of light in a space that has more substance than the egg itself.  In the medium of paint, the membrane between the space and the egg – the shell – becomes diffused and semi-permeable, as all membranes are in living organisms.  I apologise if this sounds a bit like art jargon, but it is difficult to write about work as restrained and elusive as Alcock’s. Words fall clumsy in the face of the images she excavates, deliberately but instinctively, out of her consciousness of being present.

For more information please visit Emma’s website: www.emmaalcock.com