Emily Young was born in London in 1951, into a family of writers, artists and politicians. Her grandmother was the sculptor Kathleen Scott, a colleague of Auguste Rodin and widow of the explorer Captain Scott of the Antarctic.
As a young woman, Emily Young worked primarily as a painter, whilst studying at Chelsea School of Art in 1968 and subsequently Central Saint Martins. She travelled widely in the late 60s and 70s, spending time in the USA, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, France and Italy, with additional later visits to Africa, South America, the Middle East and China. It was during these travels, whilst encountering an extensive range of cultures, that she developed her broad view of art.
In the early 1980s Emily Young abandoned painting, and started carving exclusively, sourcing stone from all around the world. The primary objective of her sculpture is to bring the natural beauty and energy of stone to the fore. Consequently, her sculptures have unique characters due to each individual stone’s geological history and geographical source, but they are bound as kin by their earthly origins.
Her approach allows the viewer to comprehend a deep grounding across time, land and cultures. Her practice methods underscore her deep preoccupation with our troubled relationship with the planet, in her combination of traditional carving skills with the use of technology when required, to produce work that is both contemporary and ancient, and has a unique, serious and poetic presence.