Emily Young was born in London into a family of writers, artists, politicians and adventurers. Her grandmother was the sculptor Kathleen Scott, a colleague of Auguste Rodin.
As a young woman, Young worked primarily as a painter, having studied briefly at Chelsea School of Art, Central Saint Martins London, and Stonybrook University, New York. She left London in the late 60s, and spent the next years travelling through USA, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, South America and China. It was during these travels, whilst encountering an extensive range of cultures, that she developed her broad view of art, both its history and function.
In the early 1980s Young started carving in stone, raiding quarry yards for discarded materials from around the world.
The primary objective of her sculpture is to bring the relationship of humankind and the planet into closer conjunction, a relationship which has been occluded by millennia of fantasies about the nature of power and human autonomy. The natural beauty, history and energy of material stone, including its capacity to embody human consciousness, has the potential to extend our experiences of being human in a vast unknowable universe.
Her sculptures have unique characteristics due to each individual stone’s geological history.
Her approach allows the viewer to comprehend a commonality across deep time, geography and cultures. Her constant preoccupation is our troubled relationship with the planet, which underscores her studio practice. In her combination of traditional carving skills allied with technology where necessary, she produces work which marries the contemporary with the ancient, manifesting a unique, serious and poetic presence.
Young’s work is in important 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 London and Italy. She is represented exclusively world-wide by Bowman Sculpture.