Emily Sutton art

Emily Sutton grew in a small village in North, Yorkshire and now lives in York. She studied illustration at Edinburgh College of Art, which also included six months at the Rhode island School of Design. Since then, she has exhibited both her prints and textiles and illustrated books for children and adults. With a lifelong love of drawing and painting, Emily uses a combination of these approaches in her current work.

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Emily says, “I find that using thread, cloth and embroidery in my work allows me to engage with it in a very particular way. Although all of my work is detailed and meticulous, I find that stitching is such a methodical and relaxing way to spend time, and because it is inherently a slow process, it means that I spend a great deal of time considering the work as it is taking shape.”

Emily thinks that nature is such an appealing subject matter simply because it is so varied and alive and something that she notices around her each day. Birds in particular are inspiring for her due to their spryness and colour, that can be done in embroidery very well.

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“In relation to my work in textiles, I would say that a trip to the Museum of American Folk Art in New York was a revelation to me. I went there in my first year at Edinburgh College of Art and seeing the pure joy in making that  was evident in all of the work was incredibly inspiring. It was looking at the beautifully crafted objects and quilts that encouraged me to incorporate my own fabric work into my illustration projects, which eventually resulted in one of my final year projects – a three-dimensional cardboard high street with painted and embroidered fabric figures, as well as my first flock of songbirds.”

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Emily’s work incorporates a love of pattern and detail and is strongly influenced by the landscape and creatures of my surroundings in the Yorkshire countryside, as well as all kinds of weird and wonderful objects found in museums and antique shops.  She is also influenced by 20th century illustrators such as Edward Bawden and Eric Ravilious, and the american lithographed children’s books of a similar era.

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She has illustrated books for the Victoria & Albert Museum, Faber and Faber, Random House, Penguin and Walker Books and undertaken commissions for brands such as Hermes, Fortnum & Mason and Betty’s of Harrogate. Sutton was awarded the Elle Decoration British Design Award 2011 for her Curiosity Shop fabric for St Jude’s. Town and Country coincides with the publication of Transferware Treasures, a limited edition hand-bound foldout book of the artist’s watercolours of Victorian transferware, published by Fleece Press.

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