September 2021
Emma Kathleen Hepburn Ferrer
portrayed in her Italian home in the hottest time of the year
Being able to witness Emma's work was absolutely fascinating, I feel so lucky to have had the possibility to portray her in such an intimate and creative moment. All of her paintings come to life in a beautiful, bright studio in Tuscany, surrounded by nature and tinted by the warm light that characterizes all Mediterranean areas. The neighborhood is full of colorful plants and lovely stone houses, in perfect Italian style; some cats and dogs welcomed me when I arrived, everything about the scene was immersive and somehow calming.
The first time I met Emma was back in 2020, over a Skype call, when we did a virtual photoshoot during lock down. Even at the time (through a screen and with many kilometers separating us) I was struck by how pure and compassionate she was, and when we finally met in real life it felt like we had known each other for a long time; not only have I had a tangible understanding of how incredibly talented she is, but she also really made me feel comfortable being myself around her. It was so easy to communicate with her, without losing the complexity of her being, and this is what made the time spent together so intense and precious.
Her work is so emotionally captivating and visually coherent, I was touched in particular by the elegance of the whole imaginative and representative process: as I saw her paint it almost looked as if everything that went through her head found a direct way on to the canvas, and there was no need for interrogation or doubt, everything seemed to flow peacefully. I was also impressed by her ability of conveying specific emotions and sensations through different materials; although Emma mainly works with oil paint, she also uses additional supplies such as watercolor, bronze, clay, charcoal and pencil. I personally find that this adds tangibility to her paintings, saturating them with a sense of vulnerability that only light materials can offer. Emma's dog Orso (bear in Italian) keeps her company while she paints and he even occasionally gets some paint on his fur by sitting into the color palette.
I had a blissful time portraying her and I am so grateful for the opportunity I got to (finally) meet her in person and be part of her artistic process for a couple of days.
Such a precious soul, such precious art.