Emily Patrick

Born 1959 Kent, England


Emily Patrick is a figurative artist and alumna of New Hall (Architecture, 1979–82) who is best known for her oil and tempera paintings on plywood board. Memories from her childhood spent on a poultry farm in rural Kent often inform her work. Aware of the harsh reality of country life, her portraits, domestic scenes, landscapes, and still-lifes are unromantic correctives, but with an appreciation of nature throughout. She enjoyed early success in a series of popular solo exhibitions at Agnew’s Gallery in London, followed by a commission in 1987 to paint Diana (Princess of Wales) for the Royal Hampshire Regiment. In 1988 she exhibited as a finalist in the BP Portrait Award at the National Portrait Gallery, and in 1989 she won the Carroll Foundation Award of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters for the most promising portrait by an artist under thirty-years old. Patrick currently lives and works in Greenwich, South London,

Artwork Information

The sensitive subject depiction of The Artist and her Daughter Beatrice (1990) speaks to Emily Patrick’s early specialisation as a portrait painter. Many such works by the artist of this genre depict singular women in domestic semi-rural interiors, often sitting at a table and staring directly at the viewer. In this particular portrait, the artist is depicted with her daughter, Beatrice, who can also be recognised as a subject in other works by the artist.

The two entwined ropes framing the board echo the close hold between mother and baby, suggestive of their strong bond. Their unity appears defensive to the darkly ominous figures who surround the table. The artist’s alarming backwards stare contrasts to the strangely self-assured expression of Beatrice. Whilst the adults look in the same direction – perhaps registering a threat together – the child’s alternative focal point appears naïve and vulnerable, ill-engaged with the apparent alarm.