Artists & Illustrators

Emily Ponsonby

I will always jump into any water that presents itself to me,” says painter Emily Ponsonby, with a vigour that translates to the oil-and-beeswax scenes of nude figures submerged in water that feature in her work.

Although she rather accurately describes her subject matter as timeless, Emily’s paintings are also fresh and innovative and strangely modern. They are heavily textural, almost to the point of becoming sculptural, and they treat the depths and lightness of both water and the human body with a graceful respect.

Emily’s investment in her work goes beyond simply looking and depicting. Her experience of water bleeds into her paintings. When she is herself in the water, she’s always thinking about how the scene might look if painted: “From that moment, as I jump in, it’s as if my mind leaves me and I look in on the situation and the negative and positive shapes – armpit,

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