Emily was born into a family of artists in Zambia in the early eighties and moved to the UK at an early age. Her heritage has however always had a deep impact on her art work.
The majority of her work explores the subjects of people and wildlife with the great emphasis on the figure as the main object of contemplation. Recently her paintings became primarily concerned with exploring methods of painting that allow her to celebrate raw emotion, movement and expression. Bold brush work and a loose expressive technique have become a defining aspect of Kirby’s work with investigation into colour and form laying at the heart of her practice.
Specialising in oil painting, Emily’s work has been inspired by artists such as Maggie Hambling, Francis Bacon, Peter Doig and Marlene Dumas.
Emily has exhibited internationally and in 2012 was awarded The Chairmans Ngoma Award for Visual Artist in the Diaspora by the Zambian Arts Council. Based in London she regularly returns to travel, paint and exhibit in Africa.