Friday 3 July 2009

Introducing... Emma Davies

To round up the week, CLOG is proud to feature current Gallery 2 exhibitor Emma Davies. Her exhibition Morphed is a reflection of her time spent in Johannesburg which she visited in October 2007 as part of The South Project's Johannesburg Gathering event.

Morphed is also currently featured in 'Collector', our new section on the website that presents distinctive artworks from current exhibition programs. The aim is to help ensure these major craft and design works are collected. We're always looking out for you!

If you missed Emma's recent segment on ABC's Sunday Arts program, you can now view it by clicking here. Just in case, it's episode 17 and Emma's feature begins about 29 minutes into the show. As we said, always looking out for you!

Happy Friday everyone. Till next week.

The work in Morphed was inspired by your recent trip to Johannesburg. Could you please tell us about your experience?
My involvement with the South Project in October 2007 to South Africa was a wonderfully inspiring experience. We were fortunate to be able to exchange ideas with other practicing artists, hear their challenges with producing art in their environment and be exposed to fascinating performances and visual delights. I facilitated a workshop in Soweto with local art and craft enthusiasts and talked at the Craft Council in Johannesburg on creative living in the south-sustainable craft, design and visual art.

What was the most memorable moment during your trip?
The medicine market in Johannesburg was quite an overwhelming place, full of animal bones, skulls and skins which were difficult to look at but intriguing at the same time. [There were also] lots of small bottles containing mysterious and bizarre contents. There were many memorable moments but the market seemed to be a big inspiration for this body of work

Could you please tell us about the reasons behind the names of the sculptures?
As the sculptures don’t represent a particular person they were difficult to name, however I hope they express a feeling or an emotion and so I selected South African names for their meanings not the name particularly.

Your previous work usually has a much brighter colour palette but with Morphed, the palette is much darker and more subdued. Could you please expand upon this?
This body of work represents my trip to Soweto and what Morphed from that trip and experience there, I wanted the body of work to be strong therefore the use of one colour makes for a bold body of work. It is nothing like my previous work although it is still organic in its form, it’s good to have a change and not use colour although the red feathers represents a very small touch of all the colour in south Africa, it is a very colourful place, I did not present that in this work but its there. The black polypropylene material is commonly used for mussels and oysters.

Initially you began working with other plastics like fibreglass and polyester resin before moving on to polypropylene. What draws you to these plastic materials and what is polypropylene like to work with?
I wish I wasn’t drawn to plastics, I would rather be working with something much more organic but I have stumbled across this medium and enjoy the results I get from it. It is not as toxic to work with as resin and fibreglass however you still need to protect yourself from it. It’s not an easy medium to work with but I enjoy the exploration and experimentation.

What is your proudest achievement to date?
Achieving a career as an artist whilst being a mother

What was your first job?
Working at a fish and chip shop.

And finally, what is the best piece of advice anyone has ever told you?
Do whatever it is that makes you happy and pick my fights with my daughter.

To view more images of Emma's work, visit our past post on the show. Morphed is on until 25 July so you've still got a few weeks to hop to it.

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