Emma Stibbon

Research activity per year

Personal profile

Research interests

Recognised as an artist working primarily in drawing and print, Emma Stibbon’s practice investigates the histories and geological narratives of place. She has established her reputation through an international exhibition profile and a series of residencies and awards.

Emma’s research examines both natural processes and the impact of human endeavor on place, recognizing both are related. Drawn to places that put a perspective on the viewer, her practice as an artist is preoccupied with environments that are in a condition of change or flux. Whether this is the seismic forces of geologically changing landscape or retreating glaciers and ice shelves, her subjects are connected by their sense of scale or drama. Emma examines how the apparently monumental can be so fragile as well as how the appearance of a place can retain the structures and patterns of its evolution. Her response often leads to a fluid understanding of geography, culture, politics and memory.

Fundamental to Emma’s research is how drawing can act as a means of communicating our relationship to a changing environment. Through her investigation of location, Emma aims to convey the frailty of both human experience and the graphic ‘touch’ of drawing. The mediation of image through process is a key part of Emma’s enquiry. Her methods for gathering on-site material include direct observational drawing and photography. Walking and orientating in the field is preliminary to her recording observed forms.

Drawing is fundamental to her work, a primary concern for her is the correspondence between ideas, process and place. Through her use of fragile drawing media, process, composition, and scale Emma's work invites the viewer to reflect on our relationship to an inherently fragile and rapidly changing world.  Her approach to drawing opens up new ways of thinking about and reflecting on environment by complicating and enriching our understanding of landscape as a pictorial genre.

She has taken part in several international residencies including the Artist Placement in Antarctica, organised by the Scott Polar Research Institute (2013); the Arctic Circle.org expedition to Svalbard in the High Arctic (2013); Josef and Anni Albers Foundation in Connecticut (2016); Artist in Residence at Hawai‘i Volcanoes National Park (2016); Project Pressure Grand Canyon National Parks Artist in Residence (2017), Death Valley National Park Arts Foundation (2019), and the Queen Sonja/Artica Svalbard Print Award, Svalbard (2019).

Emma has recently exhibited her work at the Alan Cristea Gallery, London; Galerie Bastian, Berlin; Earth Gallery, University of Bristol; Eres Stiftung, Munich; the New Art Gallery, Walsall;  the Towner Art Gallery, Eastbourne; The Polar Museum, Cambridge, the Royal Academy, London; Potsdam Kunstverein and Museum of Contemporary Art, Hangzhou, China. Her work is held in private and public collections including the Stadtmuseum, Berlin; Potsdam Museum; the Laing Art Gallery, Newcastle upon Tyne; New Art Gallery, Walsall; Pallant House Gallery, Chichester; Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery; Russell-Cotes Art Gallery and Museum, Bournemouth; and the V&A, London.




Supervisory Interests

My supervisory interests are writing the field of Fine Art, specialising in drawing and printmaking. My research is rooted in landscape, focusing on environments that are undergoing change and transformation. I undertake this through field-based research, frequently in dialogue with scientists. 

Education/Academic qualification

Master, Fine Art Research, University of the West of England

1 Oct 20025 Oct 2005

Award Date: 5 Oct 2005

Bachelor, Fine Art BA, Goldsmiths College, London

1 Oct 198130 Jun 1984

Award Date: 8 Jun 1984

External positions

Royal Academician, Royal Academy of Arts

5 Mar 2013 → …


  • N Visual arts (General) For photography, see TR
  • Drawing
  • Printmaking


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