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EMily bates

_EMILY BATES_LOST SPRING_orange poppy.ti

Emily Bates (1970, United Kingdom, based in The Netherlands)

Lost Spring, 2020.

Photography with flora from Amsterdam, shot on iPhone.


Visual artist and photographer Emily Bates studied textiles at Glasgow School of Art. She became known in the 1990s for a series of dresses constructed from knitted human hair, which were exhibited worldwide. A recipient of the prestigious Scottish Arts Council artists prize, Emily has been based in Amsterdam for the past twenty years. Her work combines photography, sound and moving image into compelling installations that explore the ways in which humans interact.


Emily’s work often involves travelling to mountainous landscapes, volcanoes and sub-tropical forests in Europe or Asia. With her travel plans cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic, she was forced to work from home. To place her own thoughts, and to acknowledge those enduring more extreme lockdowns elsewhere, as well as those who  had lost their loved ones, Emily sought comfort in the approaching spring. During daily walks through the parks of Amsterdam, she wandered off the busier pathways into wilder, wooded areas. This routine turned up a playful series of face masks created from Amsterdam’s local flora, shot entirely on her iPhone. To Emily, this process became a daily ritual, which she shared with friends around the world though social media.