Meet Emma Gibbons – the artist who’s bringing Barbiecore to the art world: ‘Glitter-haters need not apply’

The Barbie movie’s release is just around the corner and if you’ve got the Barbiecore bug, you’ll be obsessed with British artist Emma Gibbons. 

Hailing from the artistic and cultural hub of St Ives in Cornwall, Emma is a mixed media pop artist fast becoming well known for her colourful, show-stopping contemporary artworks using resin, glitter, crystals and other precious materials.

After spending seven years working for Damien Hirst, she has since embarked on her own journey and now the likes of Margot Robbie, Zoe Ball and Dawn French all have her artwork hanging in their homes. 

Margot Robbie during the Barbie press tour© Getty Images
Margot Robbie during the Barbie press tour

Just recently Amanda Holden showed off her favourite  Emma Gibbons ‘Hot Mess’ print.. 

While Emma’s vibrant resin, modern culture references are joyful to look at, she’s inspired by the themes of consumerism, society’s obsession with ‘more’ and excess, meaning each piece urges the viewer to consider what addiction means to them and the society and culture they live in.

Emma has joined forces with curators Gone Rogue to launch her biggest London solo exhibition to date ‘Barbiecore’ at the ME Hotel, Strand in central London on Friday 30 June until 29 August.

The show opens to the public just in time for Pride week. Expect ‘Bad Barbie’ glitter pill sculptures, her ‘Barbie’ logo, ‘Hot Mess’ and ‘After Party’ glitter pill sculptures with the addition of dolls house miniatures and Barbie doll paraphernalia thrown into the mix.

The latest body of work from Emma celebrates the excessive legacy of her favourite pop culture icon Barbie
The latest body of work from Emma celebrates the excessive legacy of her favourite pop culture icon Barbie

Hi Emma, your path to success has been crazy – and amazing – what’s been your personal highlight?

“It’s been a wild couple of years for sure. Personal highlights are tricky, there’s been quite a few! I did three shows last summer that all sold out, one after the other. From a work perspective that was just amazing, as it means people are really enjoying what I’m doing and connecting with it to the extent that they want to buy it and have it in their homes to enjoy every day. That’s a pretty awesome feeling!

“Celebrity clients are another real highlight. I’ve sold quite a few pieces to various celebs, and that’s always super lovely when someone famous wants to own a piece of your work (Zoe Ball, Margot Robbie, Danny Dyer, Dawn French have all bought pieces).” 

You have famously sold a piece to Barbie movie star Margot Robbie, was that the ultimate pinch-me moment?

“It was unreal! It was over a year ago now and I still can’t believe it. It was just phenomenal that she liked the piece in the first place, but to buy it was something else. It’s currently hanging on the wall of her office in LA and that literally gives me chills to think about it.”

Emma Gibbons Barbie print sold to Margot Robbie
The Barbie print sold to Margot Robbie

Which celebrity would you love to see your pieces in their house?

“The Beckhams. They’ve got a really impressive art collection, including some Damien Hirst’s, and I’d love to get an Emma Gibbons on their wall one day!”

You have a love for pink and sparkles and fun shapes – describe your art for someone who might be discovering you for the first time?

“It’s super colourful, uplifting, joyful art, designed to make you smile. I’ve become quite well known for my capsule pills filled with glitter and resin which I use across my work, and also my resin ice lollies. My pieces are big and bold, and for anyone wanting to make a statement. On a deeper level it’s about excess in society, but first and foremost it’s a celebration of colour and sparkle. Glitter-haters need not apply!”

Emma Gibbons lolly print
Emma Giibbons’ lolly print

What’s your top tip for anyone who would like to invest in their art collection – do you have any top tips on where to start?

“Always buy art that you love. Art is supposed to connect with you – if you’re not moved by it, don’t buy it. Build a collection around what you love – it will tell a story and bring you joy every day.”

Now let’s talk about Barbiecore – how did that come about and what’s the ultimate goal?

“I’d had in my mind that I wanted to do a full pink Barbie show for about the last two years, but I didn’t know where I wanted to have it, or who would let me do it! Then I was offered to show at ME Hotel and when I looked at the dates I realised that the show they were offering me spanned the release and the Barbie Movie, and I just thought: that’s it. That’s what we’re doing! It felt like a sign. Luckily, the hotel and the curation team were really onboard with the ridiculousness, and we’ve all worked really hard to create something big, pink & outlandish. It’s going to be super fun, but also super glamorous.”

How has Instagram helped your business?

“Instagram allows people to experience my work outside of a gallery, which is awesome. It allows me to spread the pink-glitter joy even further! I follow lots of artists on Instagram and it’s a really amazing tool to get to see into artists’ studios and to get to know their processes a bit more, which you can’t really do in a gallery setting. Instagram is such a visual platform; it’s a great resource for artists and for art fans.”

What are your big goals for the next year?

“I’ve got plans for a couple of big international shows next year, which is super exciting! 

“I’m dying to do a show in Ibiza, because I feel like rainbow-glitter artwork and the White Island is a match made in heaven! So we’re working on that for later this year. 

“I’m also planning a show in LA. The art market in America is really exciting at the moment so I can’t wait to take some work out there and see what the response is. 

If the last couple of years are anything to go by then anything could happen! So I’m looking forward to seeing where the ride takes me next.”

Catch  ‘Barbiecore’ at the ME Hotel, Strand in central London on Friday 30 June until 29 August. Find out more on

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