To coincide with the Inspired by… Heraldry exhibition currently on display at Royal Armouries Museum in Leeds, we asked our visitors to create their own designs. The winning piece would then be displayed alongside the work of the Yorkshire Heraldry Society.
The competition winner was Emma Horsfield – we spoke to her about the inspiration behind her design.
What was your motivation for entering the competition?
I decided to enter the competition as history is a great interest of mine and heraldry is one aspect of that which l thought would be interesting to learn about. Entering the competition gave me the opportunity to learn something new and try out a new style of art, which was very appealing to me.
What was the inspiration behind your design?
Having recently joined the Pontefract Magna Carta Group, which was founded to prepare for the 800th Anniversary celebrations (in 2015), l thought that would be the ideal subject to pursue. I decided to recreate the 25 shields of the Barons who summoned King John in 1215 to seal the Magna Carta document within my design, as this would bring unity to these facets of heraldry whilst also being a unique piece of work. I also thought that, because of the approaching anniversary, it would be a subject which would be within the public domain.
Is this the first time you have created heraldry?
Yes it is, in fact I knew nothing about heraldry before entering the competition. However, when l conducted some research on the subject, I was surprised to learn how complicated it is.
What did you enjoy most about creating it?
I enjoy creating art with lots of colour and contrast and it was this aspect, and the fact that it was historically based, which l enjoyed most. I had been painting some historical scenes and events in acrylics and oils, and also designing my own medieval style manuscripts before the competition, so this was an interesting extension to this work.
How will it feel to have your work displayed in a national museum?
I am extremely pleased to be displaying my work in a National Museum, especially so because so many people will get to see and appreciate it and that is what pleases me most. I would also hope it may contribute towards the public trying to learn a little bit about the Magna Carta and what it stands for.
Tell us a little bit about you and your background.
I am 39 years old; primarily a mother of six children but also studying for a BA (Hons) Illustration with the University of Hertfordshire (distance learning). I studied A Level Art and Design but while travelling and bringing up my family l did little or no art at all for about 17 years. Once my youngest son began full time education five years ago, l felt that it was high time l began being creative again. I love drawing and painting and now take part in exhibitions and sell my art, whilst also taking commissions for portraits and other design requests. My favourite subjects are historical and fantasy themes and this transpires through a lot of my work, but I also illustrate books and design book covers, and this is something l seek to become more involved in as l progress through my degree course.
For more information about the Inspired by…Heraldry exhibition visit our website.