top of page

About Emily Jolley

Emily Jolley is an abstract artist based in Cambridgeshire, UK, specializing in elegant and expressive abstract paintings. She is inspired by the natural world and the connections and transience of our daily lives. 

My painting style has developed from a desire to express ideas of connectedness and existentialism, a commitment to art for art’s sake, and a fundamental appreciation of form, line, colour and composition. Abstraction allows a focus on these concepts while following and furthering the language of abstract expressionism. Artists I admire include Lee Krasner, Eva Hesse, Helen Frankenthaler, Barbara Hepworth, Tracey Emin, Joan Mitchell and Julie Mehretu.

Every painting is a unique balance between intuitive and considered marks, energy, and calm. The process and composition play with notions of authorship – to what extent is the artist responsible for the final work – embracing the choices made, actions taken, incidental happenings that occur in fleeting moments. While final paintings are fixed they clearly show that while they are what they are, they could have been otherwise.

Experiencing, observing, drawing, experimenting and playfulness are important to my practice and inform my abstract works.


I work in both large and small formats with a variety of media. As a maker, I am interested in the nature of producing art and of crafting – the drive to do it, authorship, mark making, and working with materials sympathetically. Making work in response to and/or that is intended for a particular space is also very motivating to me. I am interested in how spaces and objects can affect how we feel.

Inspiration comes from all manner of observation, experiences and thought. I aim to create work that is beautiful and invites contemplation.

'You have to know how to use the accident, how to recognise it, how to control it, and ways to eliminate it so that the whole surface looks felt and born all at once.'

Helen Frankenthaler

'Abstract is not a style. I simply want to make a surface work. This is just a use of space and form: it's an ambivalence of forms and space.'

Joan Mitchell


2005 - 2008

BA Fine Art, Bath Spa University (First)

2004 - 2005

BTech Art and Design, Manchester Metropolitan University (Distinction)



Shortlisted for the Visual Artists Association professional artist of the year award


Howes Smith Memorial Prize for drawing



The Retreats, Burwash Manor, Cambridgeshire

The Artists' Marquee, Cambridgeshire, July




Momentary Significance: a solo show by Emily Jolley, Art and Soul Gallery, St Neots, May


Emily Jolley: Solo show, Huntingdon Art Gallery, Huntingdon, January


Providence, Cambridgeshire, August - October


Growing Reflections, a solo show by Emily Jolley: Solo show, Art and Soul Gallery, St Neots, November


Emily Jolley: Solo show, Espresso Library, Cambridge, May - July

Group (recent)


Art Fair East, Norwich, 7-10 November

ART-TRAnslations, Cambridge, November

Stapleford Granary, Cambridgeshire, 30 October - 11 December

Bath Contemporary Artists Fair, Bath, 8 September

Creative Reactions, Cambridge, 1 June

Bath Contemporary Artists Fair, Bath, 14 April

ART-TRAnslations, London Design Centre, April

Inside-Outside, Art-at-one, Hemingford Grey, March

Bocabar Art, Bristol, 5 February - 17 March


Art Fair East, Norwich, 1-3 December

The Wrong Biennale, Following A Path Pavillion, online, 1 Nov 2023 - 1 March 2024

Abstract, Fronteer Gallery, Sheffield, 19 September - 6 October

VAA professional artist award shortlisted artists, online, August

Babylon Open Art Exhibition, Babylon Gallery, Ely, August

Cambridge Open Studios, Cambridgeshire, 22-23 July

Water's Edge, Huntingdon Art Gallery, Huntingdon, 9 June - 20 July

By the riverside, Art and Soul Gallery, St Neots, 6 April - 3 May

Winter Open, Babylon Gallery, 10 - 29 January


Significant Form, Huntingdon Art Gallery, Huntingdon, 23 Dec - 2 Feb 2023

Affordable Art, Art and Soul Gallery, St Neots, 6 December - 15 January 2023

Artists' Marquee winter show, Cambridgeshire 26-27 November

Abstract Expressions, Huntingdon Art Gallery, Huntingdon, 1 October - 10 November

Babylon Open Art Exhibition, Babylon Gallery, Ely, August

Cambridge Open Studios, Cambridgeshire, July

COS showcase, Muchaelhouse Gallery, Cambridge, June

Flora Flora, Fronteer Gallery, Sheffield, April

Awash, Society of East Anglian Watercolourists, Handa Gallery, Norfolk, February


Work Made In Lockdown, Fronteer Gallery, Sheffield, July

Arts management / curation


Appointed CEO of Cambridge Community Arts

Appointed Cambridge Creative Network co-director 

Huntingdon Art Gallery monthly exhibitions and events

Artists' Marquee resident artists programme

Creative Reactions


Mill Road Winter Fair Art Exhibition

Huntingdon Art Gallery 6-weekly exhibitions and events

COS showcase at Michaelhouse Gallery (90 artists)


Founded Huntingdon Art Gallery (October 2022)

COS showcase at Michaelhouse Gallery (44 artists)

Art education and career


I studied fine art painting at Bath School of Art and Design, Bath Spa University, graduating with a First and showing work at the Holburne Museum, Bath; Old Truman Brewery, London; and Candid Arts, London. Prior to this I achieved Distinction at Manchester Metropolitan University’s Art Foundation year, won the Howes Smith Memorial Prize for drawing, and had work displayed at the Lowry Centre in Salford Quays, Manchester.

After studying fine art I developed a successful career in business development, returning to painting and showing work in 2016. I still work as a business development professional alongside my art practice.

Committed to creating opportunities in and for my community, in October 2022 I founded Huntingdon Art Gallery,. I am currently Co-Director of Cambridge Creative Network (CCN) with founder Karen Jinks.

In 2023 I was shortlisted for the VAA professional artist award

In 2024 I was appointed CEO of Cambridge Community Arts, starting in the role from May of that year.


I am a member of several professional and networking groups for artists including: The Visual Artists AssociationCambridge Arts Network, CCN, the NeotistsCambridge Open Studios, Indie CambridgeThe Artists’ Marquee and a-n.

I work from studios at Milton Studios (@cambridgestudios) and in Huntingdon.

Photo credit: Emily Jolley in her studio by Julian Eales for Indie Cambrudge, 2023

Get in touch

Thank you for your interest in my artwork. I'd love to hear from you with any queries.

I welcome proposals regarding exhibitions, commissions, collaborations and sales.

bottom of page