Visions in the Tea Steam: Art Exhibition: Emma Morrissey, A Touch of Japan


Back in July I was pleased to be invited to the opening of Emma Morrissey’s art exhibition A Touch of Japan at the d.@rt Centre, Hedge End. I had seen and been inspired by a lot of Emma’s art during the years I worked at the d.@rt, from fabulous realistic portraits in pencil and pastel to creative paint pour canvasses where chemicals formed unpredictable and unique patterns, and fantastical jewelry. Emma is always a delight to talk with about her art, and will gladly discuss the process and the inspiration behind her work in detail. She also regularly teaches art workshops, where she shares some of her skills with others; you can view the ones taking place at the d.@rt Centre at

I must admit I wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the title of this exhibition. Unsure whether Emma had been to Japan herself, I felt some unease about the concept of her depicting it. However, discussing the art with Emma, her love for and fascination with the depicted aspects of Japan really shone through. It was a bit like talking to a child about a dream they had, set in a place based on assorted snatches of life that somehow came together to form a beautiful impression and a sense of wonder. I hope Emma will see Japan in person one day, and that these dreamlike impressions will only be expanded into something even more wonderful when she does. Perhaps we will even see some additions to this collection in response.

The pieces in the exhibition ranged widely across the different pieces of this dream, like a patchwork, held together with a sense of soft colour and vibrancy. From feather-like cherry blossoms to bold streets and pop culture images, somehow this collection of things absolutely belonged together. Emma had endeavoured to keep everything at affordable prices and I certainly would have been tempted by some of the watercolours did I not live in a rental where I cannot hang pictures. The exhibition finished on August 9th, and I believe many of the pieces were sold, but do keep an eye out for Emma and her work around Southampton; you can follow her in the following places online:



Twitter @emzportraits

If you ever have the chance to view some of these works, I recommend doing so with a delicate white tea; something that helps steep you in relaxation, peace, and fanciful imagination; perhaps silver needles.

In the meantime, go out and see the work of your local creatives, be they dancers, writers, actors, painters, singers, musicians or costume-makers; there’s so much being created around you, and so much more to be created. All the best to Emma, and thank you for having me at a delightful launch evening.

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