Emma Richardson’s Rapture in Stockport

Emma Richardson, Whippersnapper, 2023

Mura Ma presents its fourth exhibition at its Marple, Stockport arts space with a solo exhibition of new large scale oil paintings by Emma Richardson, reflecting her interest in themes relating to desire, transcendence and connection. Hang Each Night in Rapture opens on Friday 9th June and runs until July15th 2023, with a preview on Thursday 8th June, 7-9pm.

Hang Each Night In Rapture, the title taken from a lyric in the 1980s track Rapture by US band Blondie, references the after-life of paintings that were once the site of frenzied performance and activity and now hang quietly holding that history, awaiting the active gaze of the viewer.

Emma Richardson in her studio

Biblical, Blake-like, reminiscent of the Renaissance old masters in technique, Richardson ‘s work effortlessly subverts and creates veils of space, light and form that appear suspended upon the surface. Oil paint is delicately tensed, flicked and slid across the canvas to create webs and trails of possible bodily or celestial matter. A contemporary interpretation of an imagined metaphysical realm.

Emma Richardson, Tenderly, 2023

Richardson seems to be painting emergences, or gatherings of fluidity in paint to express her ideas and research about female desire and she draws on work by artists focusing on the female experience, surrealism, self-expression and the spiritual such as Hilma af Klint, Dorothea Tanning, Paula Rego, Maria Lassnig, Cecily Brown, Georgia O’Keeffe and Joan Mitchell.


Her painting also refers to the powerful forces of the natural world as a metaphor for our fears and uncertainties living in the modern world and how this drives us to find reassurance, meaning and connection with others in new and changing ways. For this she turns to artists dealing with dramatic scenes such as John Martin, Artemisia Gentileschi, Bosch, Turner, Rubens, Tiepolo, and William Blake.

“I’m interested in how painting can capture, freeze frame and hold a moment, a feeling or sensation, mid-emerging,” says Richardson. “It can represent both the physical and metaphysical and silently hold an individual or collective state in flux for the viewer to read and immerse themselves in. A quiet reflective space that can hold so much.

Emma Richardson, Hot Pursuit, 2023


Emma Richardson is a painter who graduated from Wimbledon School of Art, London with a BA Honours in Fine Art in 2004. She has exhibited in solo and group shows in London, Southampton, Hong Kong and Barcelona. She received DYCP funding from Arts Council England in 2021 and in 2022 completed three years on the Turps Correspondence Course.

Her paintings are held in private collections in Canada, America, Italy, Spain and the UK. Alongside painting Richardson is also a musician, and previously wrote and performed worldwide with Band of Skulls for over ten years. Her paintings appear on a selection of their album and single releases. She lives and works in London, UK.

Mura Ma is a new independent artist-run gallery opened in January 2023, located at 15 Stockport Road, Marple, Stockport SK6 7BD.


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