EMMA BASS is regarded as a fast-rising emerging artist with a distinctive take on life, flora and photography.


Emma was born in Liberia, West Africa in 1967 and lived in England as a young child, before arriving in New Zealand aged six, where she currently still resides in beautiful Auckland.

A former nurse, Emma returned to live in London in 1989/90 where she fell in love with photography at the Camera Club in Leicester Square. Here she learnt darkroom techniques and took part in her first group exhibition.

On returning to New Zealand, she fast became one of New Zealand’s most adaptable commercial photographers, working freelance for over 20 years, and winning awards along the way. Emma’s hugely diverse portfolio is testament to her compassionate, yet thorough, meticulous approach.

As sought after as she is in the commercial world, it’s her artistic pursuits that Emma is most passionate about. Emma began exhibiting her art photography in 1992 and has established a strong following with ‘Imperfect’, her most recent body of work.

These photographic works are lusciously seductive, but close up, the floral compositions deliver a sharp bite of reality. It’s here that Emma’s interest in the transient nature of beauty, and a world too obsessed with perfection, are explored. These portraits of flora ‘on the turn’ honour the beauty of the imperfect and the homely.

Emma explains, "I wanted to challenge our concept of what is beautiful. For me, this project is about framing reality. The flaws themselves are beautiful, because they are true to life."

The images are a gentle contemplation upon the ‘greatness’ that exists in the inconspicuous… Imperfect spans seasons but also traces the more intimate arc of lifespan, honing in on the quietly exquisite — the artless evidence of demise.

In 2014, Emma gave a talk at the Image Nation Photographic Conference in Auckland. In this presentation, she details her early life and influences, talks about how these things shaped her as a photographer, and how her career developed. For an in-depth look at Emma’s life and work, watch the video of her presentation below: