Paul Emsley was born in Glasgow in 1947. Having grown up in South Africa, he moved to the U.K. in 1996 where he currently resides although retaining an ongoing presence in South Africa. His work can be found in most public collections in South Africa. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the BP Portrait Award in 2007.
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“I have always loved drawing. The dryness of the paper and the chalk demand precision and exactness. It quickly exposes one’s shortcomings allowing no room for tricks. I try to emphasise the singularity and silence of the form. By a careful balancing of tones I explore the way in which light and shade fall across the subject. By creating a settled half-light I try to transform the existence of the object from the ordinary to something more profound.”
Paul Emsley: Retrospective, Sasol Museum, Stellenbosch | 02 March - 21 April 2012
FNB Joburg Art Fair | 23 - 25 September 2011
FNB Joburg Art Fair | 26 - 28 March 2010
FNB Joburg Art Fair | 3 - 5 April 2009
Muse 08 | 9 - 23 September 2008
Paul Emsley Retrospective, YouTube, 2012
‘Blomstudies vir hom uitdagendste’, Die Burger, 9 March 2012
‘Paul Emsley: UK BP Portrait Awards 07 Finalist’, South African Art Times, May 2007
Paul Emsley was selected from a shortlist of four potential candidates to paint the first official portrait of Her Royal Highness The Duchess of Cambridge. The portrait was unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery, London on 11 January 2013 and will be displayed there as part of their collection. Read more.