Yorkshire-born Emma Stothard is inspired by the surrounding countryside, the North Sea and agricultural landscape near the village where she grew up in Holderness, East Yorkshire.
Emma studied Fine Art at university in Southampton and from there went on to pursue her passion for willow sculpting – moving to Somerset to learn traditional willow weaving and basket making.
An inspired graduate with all the willow weaving know-how, Emma returned to Yorkshire where she started making lovely sculptures for local businesses, shows and events – her first major exhibit being at The Harrogate Flower Show.
Settled back in Yorkshire, Emma then went on to study a PGCE in Secondary Education, Art & Design where her inspiration continued to grow through working with children. She secured a role at Whitby Community College, North Yorkshire – which has a very successful and forward-thinking art department.
Her sculptures continued to raise interest in the region and as larger commissions rolled in, the size of her sculptures did too!
The Louis C Tiffany Museum and Water Gardens in Matsue, Japan – home to the largest collection of Tiffany glass in the world – commissioned Emma to create a central feature to their ‘English Garden’ on the theme of ‘East-meets-West’.
Emma now exhibits locally, nationally and internationally – and continues to be an influential sculptor with real Yorkshire roots.
She was particularly honoured to have had the opportunity to make and personally present a large scale sculpture to HRH the Prince of Wales. It was a willow sculpture of his beloved Jack Russell dog ‘Tigga’, made from willow grown on the Highgrove Estate. ‘Tigga’ is sited in the gardens at Highgrove, and was a ‘thank you’ gift for her loan from the Prince’s Trust, which enabled her to start her career.
This week, Emma has been exhibiting her work at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, picking up a 5 star tradestand award. She worked alongside Colour Your Garden and Bespoke Outdoor Spaces to create the willow-weaved masterpieces that have proven so popular at this year’s fabulous event.
We can’t wait to see more of Emma’s amazing sculptures dotted around Yorkshire and the North East!