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Emma Cownie


Swansea & Burtonport



Born in Hereford, educated in Gloucester, Cardiff and London, I am a professional Swansea-based contemporary artist, specializing in oil paintings. I also spend part of the year in Burtonport, Donegal, Ireland.


All my life I have loved being creative – whether it was drawing and sketching as a teenager, drawing with oil pastels and screen print-making in my 20s and finally focusing on photography and oil painting in adult life.


I originally trained as a professional Medieval Historian and then worked in Secondary Education for almost two decades until my life took an unexpected turn. On 29th February 2012 I was involved in a car accident which led to me developing  PTSD and having a breakdown. My emotional recovery was long and exhausting and is still ongoing. Art was an essential part of that process and still is. I have been a professional artist since 2013, part-time until the summer 2016 when I became a full-time professional artist.


I paint most days.  My work focuses on light and colour, whether I paint rural landscapes, urban streets, seascapes or figurative work. I am primarily a landscape painter. I also like to paint people walking around in their everyday lives, painting moods, anticipations, and atmospheres, trying to express presence and pathos. I notice things that others miss. I am fascinated by light and colour but also details.


Much of my work is inspired by American and Canadian artists, mainly American realist painters who paint the quiet, the spacious and the still and revere a certain treatment of light and colour.  I have found myself drawn to and influenced by painters who have a special relationship with colour and light; such as American realists Edward Hopper, Fairfield Porter and Rockwell Kent, the Canadian Group of Seven, and British painter David Hockney. I am also drawn to the skies and landscapes of Irish artists such as Paul Henry, and James Hubert Craig.


My work is in hundreds of private collections around the world; UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Belgium, Malta, Canada, USA, Peru, Singapore, Japan, South Africa and Australia


Exhibition History

Solo Exhibitions

2017 October – “Cymuned Gafnu: Hollowed Community” exhibition at Inkspot Centre at madeinroath Festival, Cardiff.

2017 Aug – Brynmill Coffee House, Brynmill, Swansea, UK

2016 July – Brynmill Coffee House, Brynmill Swansea, UK

2015 December – Steam, Uplands, Swansea, Wales, UK

2015 December – Noah’s Yard, 38 Uplands Crescent, Swansea, UK

2013 October-November – Art Wing, Grand Theatre, Swansea

2013 July – August – Noah’s Yard, 38 Uplands Crescent Uplands, Swansea


Group Exhibitions

2019 – December – Glynn Vivian Open Exhibition, Glynn Vivian Gallery, Alexandra Road, Swansea, SA1 5DZ

2018 – August – Festival of Art, St Gwynog Church, Llanwnog, Wales

2018 – March-August – Off the Wall Gallery, Llandaff, Cardiff

2017 December – Glynn Vivian Open Exhibition, Glynn Vivian GalleryAlexandra Road, Swansea, SA1 5DZ

2017 December – Christmas Show, Brynmill Coffee House, Swansea.

2017 September – Shelter Cymru Art Auctions – artwork donated and exhibited at Penarth Pavilion, Penarth, Wales

2016 December – Christmas Show at Malvern Leisure Centre, UK

2016 November-December – Oriel Ceri Richards Gallery, Taliesin, Swansea Christmas Show

2016 September – Shelter Cymru Art Auctions – artwork donated and exhibited at Penarth Pavilion, Penarth, Wales

2016  “Seeds of Change” Group exhibition March – April at Old Mayor’s Parlour, 23 Church Street, Hereford Art Exhibition of various media.

2015 December – The Back Lane Gallery, Brynmill, Swansea.  Private Art Exhibition

2015 September – Shelter Cymru Art Auctions – artwork donated and exhibited at Penarth Pavilion, Penarth, Wales

2015 July/August – The Back Lane Gallery, Brynmill, Swansea.  Private Art Exhibition

2015 21 March – April  – Boundary Art Gallery, Cardiff, Wales, UK

2014 September – Shelter Cymru Art Auctions – artwork donated and exhibited at Penarth Pavilion, Penarth, Wales

2014 November-December – “The Christmas Show”, Oriel Ceri Richards, Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea

2014 November – December – Taith Contemporary Art, Pop Up Exhibition, Carmarthen, Wales, UK.

2014 – October – December – Off the Wall Art Gallery, Llandaff, Cardiff

2014 Sept – Oct – Brynmawr Gallery, Brynmawr, Wales

2014 July-August – Gallery in the Square, Usk, Monmouthshire, Wales,

2014 April-September – Off the Wall Art Gallery, Llandaff, Cardiff

2013 December – The Winter Show, Oriel Q, Queens Hall Gallery, Narbeth

2013 November-December – “The Christmas Show”, Oriel Ceri Richards, Taliesin Arts Centre, Swansea

2013 November-December – “The Big Picture Show”, The White Lion Street Gallery, Tenby

2013 September – Shelter Cymru Art Auctions – works donated and exhibited at Penarth Pavilion and the Welsh Centre, London

2013 July-August – Summer Exhibition – Nick Holly Studio Gallery, Swansea

2013 July-August – MOMA Cymru Wales,  Tabernacle Art Competition, Machynlleth

2013 June-July – The Summer Show, Oriel Q, Queens Hall Gallery, Narbeth

2013 May-June – “Open Prize” – Fringe Art Bath Festival

Other Exhibitions

2013 -2018 – Craftsman Gallery, Swansea

March 2014 -2018 – Off the Wall, Llandaff, Cardiff.



Education History

1999 PGCE in Secondary Education (History) Swansea University

1994 PhD in Medieval History, Cardiff University

1988 History B.A.(Hons) Cardiff University

1985 A Levels: History, English, Art, Art History, Ribston Hall High School, Gloucester

1984 AO Level:  Art History,  Ribston Hall High School, Gloucester

1983 O Levels: English Literature, English Language , Maths, History, Geography, French, Physics, Biology, Art, Ribston Hall High School, Gloucester


Research Interests


2021 –  The Net Gallery “Selling Art Online“ by Emma Cownie

2021 –  Artfinder Blog For Mental Health Week – Emma Cownie’s Story 

2019- “Northern Woman Magazine” – (July) Udderly Gorgeous Art.

2019 – “Footnotes: An Artist’s Journey Around the Gower Coast” by Emma Cownie

2018 – Autumn. Artfinder “What makes an artist hot?”

2018 – Summer. Artfinder featured in “Top trending artists: who’s coming in hot?”

2018 – Featured in “Inspired” in Welsh Coastal Magazine – March 2018

2018 – Canadian “Fowl Feathered Review” -January 2018 (25)

2017 – Hollowed Community, Blurb Magazine, Emma Cownie

2017 – Featured in “The London Economic” –  “New Report Highlights Art World Sexism” (Feb 2017)

2017 – “South Wales Evening Post” (Sept 2017) on “Hollowed Community Exhibition” in Cardiff

2015 – ITV News interview about experience & work (Nov 2015) see Youtube clip here 

2015 – “Walesonline” article  “Woman Finds Therapy and Success in Art after PTSD Diagnosis” (Nov 2015)

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