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Emsley, Paul

Emsley, Paul (1947 – )

Paul Emsley was born in Glagow, Scotland in 1947, but came to South Africa at a very young age. He
taught drawing and painting at Stellenbosch University from 1983 – 1995. In 1996 he moved back to
the United Kingdom. His work can be found in most public collections in South Africa and a recipient of

numerous awards, including the prestigious BP Portrait Award in 2007.

“All that I can experience of the universe with any degree of certainty is matter – for me it is the
visible and tangible end of space. This is probably why I gain such satisfaction from the experience
of drawing or painting the human figure, flowers in a vase or an animal. All forms are made up of
different configurations and densities. Light and shade pass over each in the same way. By emphasizing
a brooding or settled half-light I try to give sense of mystery to my images.” – Paul Emsley

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