Emilia Telese is an Italian-born crossover artist based in Brighton, UK. Born in Sarno, Italy, in 1973. Her family has its roots in the towns of Angri and Tramonti, both in the Campania region of Italy, and the city of Foggia in Apulia. After a BAhons degree in Painting from the Academy of Fine Arts of Florence in 1996, moved to the UK in 1997. Alongside her practice as an artist, she also works as Artists’ Networks Coordinator for a-n The Artist Information Company and as a freelance art writer and specialist in artists’professional practice.


Curiosity for transformation is the driving force in my work. My concern is with art as ever-changing communication – a dynamic language varying with its message. I have been interested in non-verbal communication in society and art since the start of my practice in 1996. I believe that good art should not provide answers, but instigate questions and change lives through continuing conversations with society. My work is concerned with the continuous questioning of social constraints and conventions. I try to generate knowledge through the visual representation of these questions, and the deconstruction of society’s clichés.

Sound bites

My work focuses on the way the mind and body are affected and transformed by external elements and impulses, and the inter-relation between intimate consciousness and public perception.

“I never liked the term “multimedia artist”, because I found it too simplistic and almost reductive. You can of course imply that multi-media means multiple media, where a medium is anything from a pencil to a processor. But that term ended up defining people who make cd-rom art, or digital art, or net art, as the main aspect of their practice.

My work often engages with electronic media, in the form of interactive technology, film, audio and net-based art, but I also use low-tech media like performance, visual arts, design, and more.

I use different media according to the most suitable ones needed to create particular projects. I decided to use the term “cross-over artist” because I work across artforms.

I could say I am like a swiss knife artist, an artist who crosses over different means of expression to find the most appropriate one according to need and inclination.”

Short biography

Emilia Telese is an artist and writer based in Sussex. Born in Italy, she graduated from Fine Arts Academy in Florence in 1996. She has exhibited worldwide since 1994, including in the New Forest Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2005), Ars Electronica (Austria), ZKM (Germany), Chashama (NYC), Centro Cultural Telemar (Rio De Janeiro), Manege (St Petersburg), Leeds City Gallery, ArtSway(New Forest) and the Freud Museum (London).

Her practice includes interactive and body-responsive technology, film and live art, installation, literature and public art. Often site-specific., it deals with conscious engagement, political and social debate, non-verbal communication and the questioning and deconstruction of behaviour.

During her career, she has slept in a forest, been chased by paparazzi in Venice; landed by helicopter in a Danish football field; changed her brainwave frequencies in the former stables of the Tsar of Russia in St Petersburg; shut herself in a suitcase in Southend; eaten rosaries in Sigmund Freud’s home; and built the Brighton’s Royal Pavilion out of ten tons of rice.

Emilia Telese combines her arts practice with her role as Artists’ Networks Coordinator for a-n The Artists’ Information Company and work with UK and international arts organisations as a freelance specialist in professional development advice for artists.

Emilia Telese is Artsway’s Associate artist scheme and is a Regional Council member of Arts Council England, South East. She teaches art economics and professional practice at a number of UK and Italian institutions, such as the Pistoletto Foundation, Biella; the Fine Art Academy in Palermo; University of the Arts, London; fabrica Gallery, Brighton.

Emilia founded artist led initiative Edible Construction Company in 2006 with Chris Biddlecombe and Guyan Porter, creating socially-engaged art in the public realm. In 1998 she helped set up the Artists’ Resource, the largest library for artists’ professional development in the South East of England, which she managed until 2004.

Emilia Telese produced and presented Radio Sophia, a radio programme in Italian and English language on Radio Reverb FM.