The snowy vista depicted in this piece has an ambiguity of scale and angle, offering simultaneously a distant and close view. The vertical lines and blue strip of colour at the forefront suggest a line of trees or fence running alongside a river, or perhaps ice formations on rocks.
One can only speculate at the exact features intended yet the atmosphere is evocative and the composition draws the viewer's gaze across the jagged landscape. The artist has painted the piece in confident strokes and used pieces of cloth with suggestions of detail to add structure and texture to the image - the colour blending in with the canvas in the horizon.
The whiteness of the snow is highlighted by the foreboding green-grey sky and the sharp dark marks throughout add further depth and contrast. Overall the painting conjures a sense of being immersed in an elemental landscape on a solitary journey with the lack of detail leaving plenty for the imagination.
'Whitescape' was based on the environment near Aberdeen where Emma studied painting. The weather conditions which produce a variety of atmospheres and varieties of light and tone were core to the artist's inspiration. Following on from this interest in landscape, the artist's more recent paintings are based on aerial views of land from archives and personal research. She aims to capture the scene on a larger scale, incorporating man-made structures to highlight issues of land usage and explore the boundaries between the natural and built world.
Emma Duncan (b.1977 in Farnborough, Hants) attended Gray's School of Art in Aberdeen, graduating in 2001. She won the John Kinross Scholarship to Florence in 2001 and has been twice shortlisted for the JD Ferguson and Alastair Salvesen Awards. Emma has worked teaching art in Edinburgh in adult education and with special needs groups.
With thanks to the artist