I love artist Emily Sutton’s work and was lucky enough to visit her home studio recently. Like most women she is great at multi-tasking. After making us a cup of tea she got busy drinking it, while answering my questions and stitching the last of the 36 life- size birds that feature in her solo exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
The starlings, wrens, kingfisher and thrushes are made from painted calico with beaks of whittled wood and they are very beautiful. You can see them in the YSP shop window.
Also on show as part of Emily Sutton Town and Country are her paintings and screen-prints. They are inspired by the historic buildings and follies at the 500 acre sculpture park, from her home and her recent travels in Europe.
Her first ever limited edition lithograph print, produced by Curwen Studio, is on sale (see above) along with her own design tote bag, a range of plates and mugs, a silk scarf and a cut-and-sew tea towel.
That all adds up to an immense of work, most of it done in the studio at the top of her Georgian townhouse in York.
She shares the property with partner, Mark Hearld, and theirs is a union that brings together two of Britain’s best artist illustrators/printmakers. She has illustrated books for the V&A and Faber and Faber, among others, and has undertaken commissions for brands such as Hermes, Fortnum & Mason and Betty’s of Harrogate.
The home is quirky and full of their finds, many of them gathered at the York car boot sale, The French House in Huntington and a salvage yard in Glasgow. Her studio houses some of her favourite things, including a plan chest she swapped for one of her pictures, a collection of old farm animals and some Victorian transferware pottery, which she can’t resist. It features in Transferware Treasures, a limited edition book of her watercolours, published by Fleece Press.
In case you are wondering, Emily is lovely and there’s something sweetly otherworldy about her. If she said her place of birth was fairyland I wouldn’t be surprised!
*Emily Sutton Town and Country runs at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park Park, near Wakefield, until February 22, 2015. www.ysp.co.uk
The photographs here are by Jonty Wilde, courtesy of the YSP