Saturday 29 November 2008

Introducing... Emma White

Here at CLOG we have a special surprise for you today! Saturday is usually our day off, but this was just too good to hold on to until next week. Emma White is one of the participating artists in the Making Sense exhibition, which is currently on until Saturday 29 November. That's today!

What was the inspiration behind your installation in Making Sense?
I'm quite fixated on details and I tend to look towards the things around me for inspiration. I've been exhibiting a lot of late and have become interested in all the paraphernalia that surrounds the installation of a show. There's a kind of language that emerges from arrangements of particular things, like a jargon that's specific to a kind of practice, like the kinds of tools or junk you see in a certain kind of space that tells you how that space is used. So I suppose I'm just commenting on that. I'm naturally pessimistic and a critic so perhaps I always fixate on the negatives, the failures of a space, and I always notice when plans don't go the way you mean them to. Things are fragile and break and fall off the wall and aren't finished in time constantly, so I want to reflect that aspect of practice/life in my work.

Apart from fimo, are there any materials that you enjoy working with?
I work often with photography as well, and sometimes with video, and write a bit. A lot of my work has text in it. My background is very image-based, as opposed to object-based - I like any kind of work I can do sitting down with Radio National on. I'm paranoid about repeating myself so I tend to jump around mediums and themes. I'm trying to make myself go back to video at the moment, but fighting my resistance to technology.

Tell us a bit about yourself...
Well, I've had a somewhat conventional art education at several art schools. I grew up in Canberra but decided not to enter the Guild of Office Dwellers (not permanently anyway). My first job was at a Granny May's in the food court at Westfield Belconnen, when I was in high school. And the first degree I started was in creative writing, which I dropped out of when I decided no way did I want to be a poet. I guess I've always been fixated on similar things, paper and writing and small things and organising. I live in the inner city and pine for somewhere to grow vegetables and fruit trees, but I don't know if that's what I really want, really. I'm addicted to books and the internet and I hate doing the dishes because they'll only need doing all over again. I am the kind of person who has a roll of sticky tape and six leaky pens in her handbag. I have a poor work ethic and am ambitious, so I'm necessarily neurotic.

When you were younger, what did you want to be when you grew up?
In order, a teacher, a librarian, an illustrator ... then I got to high school and my ambitions turned into simply the desire to get through high school alive and sane. I sort of fell into art from an impulse to do photography. I still regret losing the practice of drawing all the time. I should take it up again.

What are your favourite places to visit in Melbourne?
Hmm ... I don't know Melbourne well enough to know all the best places. I usually stay with a friend in Fitzroy so I do a crawl of the second hand bookshops, and hang out at the Fitzroy cafes. I like writing in my notebook at Degraves and eating at the Vegie Bar.

Here's a blank cheque to buy any artwork in the world: what would you get?
I'd feel obliged to buy something incredibly expensive: how about [Damien Hirst’s] The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living, because it has probably my favourite artwork title ever. I'm not that into Damien Hirst, though. I'd most like to live with some Kandinsky's from like 1910, or a couple of Morandi's. Most of my favourite works I don't feel the need to live with.

And finally, have you ever used your fine fimo skills for other purposes?
My flatmate can attest to the disappointment she felt when I offered her the unwanted end of a Mars bar and she realised it was fake. Sometimes the joke's on me because people can't tell the object is hand-made, so they kind of don't even see it.

Coming up we have a super special post on Emma... stay tuned!

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