The Dresser of Dreams relieves lockdown frustrations

Emily Maude: The Dresser of Dreams offers an exhibition at Chichester’s Oxmarket Gallery until January 16.

Emily Maude
Emily Maude

Andrew Churchill, gallery director, said: “It has been such a joy to have Emily’s work in the gallery. Her colour is like a firework explosion and her reference material is great fun to identify.

“Emily is an artist and designer based in Brighton, having trained in illustration at the University of Brighton.

“Emily’s studio is based in her home and is full of the beautiful eclectic objects that inhabit her work. From her sunny studio she creates illustrations and beautiful homewares inspired by nature and heritage, folk art and travel. Spending her summers in rural France provides much of the inspiration behind her illustrations as well as being inspired by the Great Bardfield artists such as Eric Ravilious and Edward Bawden.”

She has sold her collections internationally to clients including Liberty and Paul Smith. She has completed illustration work for clients including The New York Times, Octopus Publishing, Canns Down Press and Amazon and is represented by Spinning Yarn.

The exhibition is called The Dresser of Dreams.

As Emily explains: “During lockdown I found it very hard not to have the museums and galleries I call upon for inspiration so I started to imagine what might be in other peoples homes. The artworks became my dresser of dreams and so the pieces evolved.”

The exhibition features her largest ever works – something Emily describes as extremely challenging.

“Ever since my foundation year I was told to work bigger but naturally I like to work small.

“I realised I needed to make some bigger pieces for the space and decided to give it a go and push myself out of my comfort zone.

“ I liked the challenge but often found myself becoming frustrated because I also happen to work myself into a corner so the desk space was always overcrowded! When this started to happen I just put them down for a few days to start afresh. In the end I am glad I pushed myself as I’m really proud of these pieces and can imagine them in someone’s kitchen, perhaps alongside their own dresser of dreams.”

Emily also paints on the reverse of glass for some of her works.

“Painting on glass can be particularly challenging and I tend to either do one or the other, never mixing up normal painting and reverse painting to avoid confusion.

“I first become enamoured with the art about ten years ago when I visited an amazing artist called Jacqueline Humbert who together with her husband has a beautiful folk art and French provincial museum in Burgundy. She very generously showed me some of the processes and tips and techniques in her beautiful studio.

“Everything has to be worked in reverse so you start working with the details first, gradually building up the layers behind until you finish with the very last background. It’s a little like printmaking in that you have to think in reverse. I did quite a bit of printmaking at university so have managed to work it out.

“I have always been inspired by Eric Ravilious’ beautiful use of line and texture as well as Edward Bawden’s brilliant linocuts and the concept that good design can be applied to any surface.”