Emma Jo Webster’s Biography
I first tried out tapestry weaving on the 9th of January 1986 and was literally ‘hooked’ –I love weaving and have a fascination with it as I’m weaving and slowly watch the image appear and evolve. I have a deep seated love of colour and ‘colour play’ which could be related to my childhood. My grandfather was a stained glass artist and I was often found in his studio watching him paint the glass or help choose colour-ways. I also have a great interest in portraiture and have often incorporated portraits into large tapestries as well as working on a series of domestic sized portraits.
I work in my studio in Glasgow amongst a variety of artists in many disciplines. I have worked for West Dean Tapestry Studio several times – 2001 , ‘John Hubbard private commission for Sir Timothy Sainsbury woven with Caron Penney, ‘The Unicorn in Captivity’ woven at Stirling Castle by Louise Martin, Emma Jo Webster, Louise Trotter, Joan Baxter and Laura Marr – and currently ‘Mystic’ the last tapestry to be woven at Stirling Castle as part of this project woven by Ruth Jones, Emma Jo Webster, Rudi Richardson, louise Trotter, Louise Martin, Jennifer Bennet and Katherine Swailes.
Emma Jo Webster’s Statement
My work at times seems to be in two themes – colourful abstracts and portraiture – sometimes these will merge especially in larger pieces of work. The “Angels” are all about colour auras and various people. The series is on going and can be quite personal. Some of them appear in dreams, colours to be put together and their colour proportions. Often when I think of a specific person and image comes up in my head. This is a series of work that I really enjoy – mark making in the weaving through cut backs and colour – sometimes the start out as paintings – but as in this case (celestial angel ) – straight from the mind. I get a high satisfaction an pleasure from viewing them when they are finished as they are often a ‘whirl’ of colour!
I specialise in handwoven portraiture which I have incorporated into many of my larger tapestries see the tapestry of Elvis Presley which was one of my earlier pieces – double warped for extra detail and woven in pink mohair and hand dyed lurex! I also now make more domestic sized pieces like the 2013 portrait of the Hollywood icon Billie Dove.