Emma Skeldon was born in Thailand and brought up in Hong Kong. For the past twelve years, she has lived in Scotland, from whose natural landscapes she draws her inspiration and where she does the majority of her photographic work.
As you will see from many of her images in the 'Gallery,' Emma works a lot with masks. Her obsession with them began while she was studying at Camberwell School of Art in London and she has maintained an interest in them ever since. She normally makes her masks out of wood, but they might also be objects which she has adapted. Her parents (Scottish and English) travelled and lived in many countries from Peru to Papua New Guinea and masks purchased on their travels adorned the walls of their house wherever they were living. By putting on a mask we can become whoever or whatever we want to be. Masks have been used throughout the centuries and in all different cultures. With the masks that Emma makes and works with, she is interested in portraying how our minds, with our thoughts and emotions, might manifest themselves. Just as our face is a mask of our minds, so the mask represents the mind to the face.
Emma enjoys story-telling, and has created several narrative films with her photographs. These can be seen in the 'Films' section. These are accompanied either by music (she has worked numerous times with the music composer Ross Campbell), or with a narration of words that Emma herself has written. Like so many people, she is trying to understand the human condition. These stories usually look into themes such as time, memories, possession, kindness, letting go, selfishness, temptation and being in nature.
Emma either photographs herself using a remote control on a tripod, or her models come from family or friends. She uses the landscapes to give context to her images and to give emphasis to the importance of our relationship with the natural world. Although she prefers to work outside in the open air, on the cold and rainy days she enjoys experimenting with ideas in a studio environment.
BEHIND THE SCENES: