Emily Ryalls is a Wakefield based artist working predominantly with the intersection of photography and performance. Her practice is rooted in blurring the lines between a divided photographer/subject relationship, creating meaningful and collaborative works that examine and prompt crucial conversation on the role of photography as a non-exploitive means of co-production and connection. 

Emily studied Photography at Nottingham Trent University, graduating in 2019 with a BA First Class Honours – she also studied Curation and Conceptual Photography at ULisboa Belas Artes (2018). In 2019 Emily was also nominated for BJP's Ones to Watch and since then her work has featured in exhibitions across the UK, the most recent being an online presentation of ‘You Can’t Sit Here’ funded by The Tetley’s Panic! Artist Network. Publications include Something Different Starts to Happen, Tide Press (2020), This Too Shall Pass, self-published by The Merrie Collective (2021) and Fun and Games, a self-published print-at-home zine (2021).

This year, Emily led on the build and development of a fully wheelchair accessible darkroom in Wakefield, which she now programmes and manages as the only fully wheelchair accessible darkroom in the UK. Other notable projects this year are Doing & Undoing Islands - an exhibition and performance within London Art Fair’s Photo50 2022, in collaboration with her mentor Tom Lovelace. Also, upcoming group exhibition with Hannah Starkey and eight early career female and non binary photographers in Yorkshire, exhibited between The Hepworth and The Art House. 

Education and Awards

Nottingham Trent University BA (hons) Photography - graduated with a 1st class honours (2019)

Belas Artes, Ulisboa, Lisbon, Portugal. Studying Analogue Photography, Installation, Project Concepts (09/2017 - 02/2018)

Advance Mentoring Programme, ran by Creative England, receiving mentoring from Tom Lovelace over a six month period (2021)

Nominated, One to Watch for British Journal of Photography (2019)

The New Art Exchange NTU Degree Show Award (2019)

Wex Photography Award For Outstanding Portfolio (2019)


Free Range Shows. Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London (2018)

NTU Showcase, New Art Exchange, Nottingham (18th May - 9th June 2019)

From The Skin, group show. The Photo Parlour, Nottingham (22nd May - 5th June 2019)

Nottingham Trent University Degree Show, Gen23. Nottingham Trent University (May 31st 2019)

Free Range Shows. Old Truman Brewery, Brick Lane, London (26th June - 31st June 2019)

Wakefield's Festival of The Moon (commissioned by Wakefield Council) group exhibition (23rd August - 7th September 2019)

OFF Bratislava, selected group show (31st October - 15th November 2019)

Off Centre, Nottingham photography festival (16th November - 26th 2019)

Off Centre Artist Lightning Talks, (discussing 'These Ties That Continue to Bind') The Photo Parlour (23rd November 2019)

The Tetley, Print Perform Present, Leeds (7th-8th March 2020)

'this too shall pass' pop up exhibition at Merrie Studios, The Ridings Centre, Wakefield/ Unit 43, The Ridings Centre, Wakefield (September - October 2020)

The Mother, co-curator and group show exhibitor at Merrie Studios, The Ridings Centre (22nd April 2021)

"Re-emergence", group show with Thomas Elliot Wood, Thomas Duffield and Seb Smith, 34 Boar Lane, Leeds (2nd September 2021)

Waiting Game, exhibition and zine launch commissioned by Long Division (24th September 2021)

You Can't Sit Here, The Tetley PANIC! bursary recipient, online showcase of works (29th November 2021) 

Photo50 London Art Fair 2022, Doing & Undoing Islands, Emily Ryalls and Tom Lovelace - with collaborators: James Dewhirst, Yanzhen Xio, Darcy Wallace, Melanie Issaka, Georgia Williams, Phoebe Sommerfield and Rachel Gordon

Talks/Guest Lectures

In Conversation with GENeration 23: Reflections on Education, Photography and Future Directions. Selected Speaker at Nottingham Trent University (5th June 2019)

Nottingham Trent University Guest Lecture, with MA Photography

Nottingham Trent University, BA Photography Degree Show Portfolio Reviews

Huddersfield University Guest Lecture, with BA Photography

In Conversation with Jamie Hawksworth, hosting at Village Leeds (1st September 2021)

Photographers in Conversation (host), hosting Sunil Gupta & Emily Andersen, Joey Solomon & Mariama Attah, Alys Tomlinson & Richard Higginbottom, Carolyn Mendelsohn & Angela Sheard, Aria Shahrokhshahi & Jagdish Patel (The Art House, 2021)


Pupil Sphere - A Darkroom For The Community: The Art House

XIBT Magazine - Tom Lovelace & Emily Ryalls collaboration

Pupil Sphere Interview - These Ties That Continue to Bind

The Guardian - New Photography Talent - The Yorkshire Moors

Aethetica Magazine - The Yorkshire Moors

The Yorkshire Evening Post - Wakefield's Festival Of The Moon Commission

Wakefield Council Press Release - Festival Of The Moon

The Yorkshire Post

Unveild - Emily Ryalls Reframes the History of Women's Health

instagram - @emryalls

Using Format