Emily Young (b.1951) is 'Britain’s greatest living stone sculptor' (Financial Times).
She was born in London in 1951 into a family which included writers, artists, politicians, naturalists and explorers. Her grandmother was the sculptor Kathleen Scott, a colleague of Auguste Rodin, and her uncle Peter Scott, started the WWF in 1961.
As a young woman, she worked primarily as a painter, studying briefly at Chelsea School of Art and Central Saint Martins in London, and Stonybrook University, New York. She left London in the late 60s, and spent the next years travelling widely, studying art and culture.
In the early 1980s she started carving in stone, preferring to use discarded materials from abandoned quarries. The primary objective of her sculpture turns out to be to bring humankind and the living planet into a consciously closer conjunction. Our relationship has been clouded over time by millennia of fantasies about the nature of power and human privilege over nature.
To experience the natural beauty, geological history and subtle energy of material stone, including its unique capacity to embody human creativity over long periods of time, is a part of the changing story of human consciousness, and the understanding of our nature, in time and space.
We can imagine our history both backwards to the creation of our universe and forwards into the future of a vast unknowable universe.
Her approach allows the viewer to comprehend a commonality across deep time, geography and cultures. Her preoccupation is our troubled relationship with the planet. In her combination of traditional carving skills allied with technology where necessary, she produces timeless works which marry the contemporary with the ancient, manifesting a unique, serious and poetic presence. They are, each one, a call to thoughtfulness, looking to the future.
Young’s work is in public and private collections throughout the world.
She has exhibited at many prestigious museums including: The Getty, California; The Imperial War Museum, London; The Whitworth, Manchester; The Meijer Sculpture Gardens, Grand Rapids, and in 2018, The Victoria and Albert Museum, London.
Emily Young currently divides her time between studios in the UK and Italy.