Emma Prempeh: A Constant Yearning

The Capsule - 17/05/24

Emma Prempeh Capsule

About the Exhibition

The starting point to Prempeh’s paintings is the matter of blackness – the tonal properties of the colour establishes the ground to her paintings and a cinematic basis to invoke and project memories of events, people, and places to emphasise an appreciation of ancestral time and relationships, selfhood and transformation.

Schlag metal, a brass alloy of copper and zinc imitative of gold leaf, is a material that Prempeh applies to selected areas of her often large-scale paintings. Over time this oxidises creating slow, live visual changes that animate the image and create a meta-narrative around our experiences of the passing of time, memory and its representation.


Prempeh occasionally experiments with projected still and moving imagery to create painting installations that invite other experiential and performative encounters with her work. During her residency she has spent time exploring the possibilities of projection mapping in her practice in collaboration with artist SCARLETTMOTIFF.

Prempeh’s most recent explorations heavily focus on the ‘Home’ a theme that she has continued to mould throughout her career, with early narratives starting with family as a basis of understanding her existence in Britain as part of the Afro- Caribbean population. Most recently Prempeh has been exploring the home to investigate mechanisms people within the diaspora might establish, trying to grasp an identity in (un)familiar environments.

She delves into the world of magic realism in an attempt to re-examine the diaspora through storytelling and myth and how it can act as a cushion for harsh truths. This includes examining the relationships between different cultures trying to occupy a singular space allocated to them through previous colonial intervention. Exploring the home, whether in acceptance of or while exploring the return to, is an artistic commentary on the circularity and malleability of time and memory, and how it will allow her to present visual queries that can prompt unexpected answers to otherwise existential questions.

About the Artist

Emma Prempeh b. 1996 is a British artist with Ghanaian and Vincentian heritage based in London Prempeh Studied at Goldsmiths University of London graduating in 2019 winning the Alumno/Space bursary award for 2020. She won 1st place for the Ingram Collection Purchase Prize and became a participating artist in Bloomberg New contemporaries 2019.

Prempeh attended MA Painting at the Royal College of Art under the LeverHulme Trust Arts Scholarship winning the Valerie Beston Trust Arts award for 2022.

work by kharumwa

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