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Saxmundham: Artist exhibits new work after returning from Oz

Eric Emsley exhibiting his latest art work at the Seizmond Gallery in Saxmundham.

Eric Emsley exhibiting his latest art work at the Seizmond Gallery in Saxmundham.

A Suffolk painter who first picked up a brush three years ago has returned from the other side of the world to exhibit a number of new pieces.

Eric Emsley’s recently discovered talent helped him beat alcoholism brought on by the death of his wife, Linda, in 1999.

In charge of two companies and raising a daughter, his dependence eventually damaged health and mobility, leaving him in a wheelchair. But the 65-year-old, from Wilby, near Stradbroke, has been alcohol free for 18 months, has regained mobility and strength, and thanks art for aiding his recovery. He said: “Apart from having an art O-level I hadn’t picked up a brush until three years ago.

“I knew that there must be more to life than drinking. Art became an outlet for me – a way to reflect.”

Mr Emsley, whose admirers include travel writer and humorist Bill Bryson, found his flair for painting and has since staged several successful exhibitions locally.

He draws much inspiration from his early years living in Australia, also the homeland of Arthur Boyd, who shared his time between a home studio in Ramsholt and his native Australia, and was a big influence on Mr Emsley’s latest paintings.

Mr Emsley’s five pieces at the Seizmond Gallery, in Saxmundham, include two completed during a recent stay at Tamborine Mountain on Australia’s Gold Coast, and one painted on his return.

“My time in Australia was fantastic,” he said. “The art scene where I stayed is thriving. I went there ostensibly to research Arthur Boyd but was also inspired to paint more. I’m really back amongst it now and I’m starting to think about using different techniques.”

The Seizmond Gallery is run by local photographer Jason Avery and exhibits work from talented local artists in various mediums.

Mr Avery said: “It’s great to have Eric with us. I love his use of colour and the way he frames his work - he thinks a bit outside the box.

“We have a diverse mix of work on display but we’re currently looking for another eight artists to exhibit over the next three weeks.”

If you are an artist and would like to enquire about exhibiting your work, call 07850 338369 or email theseizmondgallery@yahoo.co.uk.

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