Originally from England, Emma Stroude completed her studies in London at Chelsea College of Art and Design and The Slade School of Art. She moved to Ireland in 1996 and studied in NCAD before settling in Sligo where she plays an active role in the arts community.
Primarily a painter, Emma’s work ranges from wide skies and emotive Irish landscapes to figurative paintings emerging from her dedication to life-drawing.
Ireland’s history and Atlantic coastline influence the two diverse themes which run parallel in her practice. One stems from her interest in women’s role in Irish history resulting in an ever evolving series of charcoal portraits of key female figures. The other has emerged from her surrounding environment, the dramatic weather and ever changing light of the North West and the culture of being on the move, glimpsing transient moments of beauty from a moving vehicle.
Her portrait titled ‘Fifteen’ was the winner of the Irish Arts Review, Ireland-U.S. Council Award for Portraiture at the RHA’s 191st Annual Exhibition in 2021.
Her solo exhibition ‘Curious’ at The Kildare Gallery in October 2019 explored the spectacle of coloured smoke and powder clouds and the diversity of their use for celebration, entertainment, protest, alert or a call for help. The inhabitants of each painting choose to ignore, react, engage with or even act as the instigators of these clouds of colour and the situations they create. Our human involvement and response to each spectacle is the subject of her curiosity.
Emma’s latest works are concerned with exploring the idea of play as a rehearsal for the challenges of adult life and the use of acrobatic performance as a metaphor for the precarious nature of our existence. She draws comparisons between physical and emotional tests in our life experiences as we identify with the characters she portrays. (Performances by Síolta Circus and Angelique Ross provided inspiration for several of these paintings.)
Her work is housed in numerous public and private collections including the OPW, Sligo County Council, Kildare County Council, Pierce Brosnan and Luciano Bennetton’s Imago Mundi.