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The Art Of Abstraction With Emma Currie

Creative People

In the age of Instagram, real ‘newness’ is a rare commodity. Honestly, we’re finding it harder and harder to uncover emerging creatives who are making work that is truly fresh and new! SO, we get extra excited when we do make a new discovery.. and recently, local artist Emma Currie’s work has really caught our eye!

Emma’s work is a beautiful balance of hard edges, and flowing fluidity. We love her paintings so much, we’ve invited her to be part of our end of year group show, Art&Artefact, opening Saturday December 14th in our Collingwood gallery!

5th December, 2019

Emma Currie’s home studio in Thornbury. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Artist Emma Currie sitting in her home studio. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The process behind Emma’s stunning work. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The paintings begin with a sketch and careful colour selection. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The studio is filled with warm natural light. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Hard edges mix with the fluid nude forms. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

The tools of the trade. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Emma at work. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

A work in progress. Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Photo – Amelia Stanwix for The Design Files.

Lucy Feagins
Thursday 5th December 2019

Artist Emma Currie grew up in Portland, South West Victoria, where she describes ‘there really wasn’t a whole lot to do!’ Her parents encouraged her to be creative, which is how Emma began drawing throughout her childhood. Emma later moved to the ‘big smoke’ to study visual arts, majoring in painting at university – but it wasn’t all smooth sailing. By the time she finished her degree, Emma was disenchanted with the art world. In her own words – ‘the idea of being an artist seemed pretty unrealistic from an introverted country girl with zero connections in the art world, and a paralysing fear of networking!’

Luckily for us, Emma began picking up the brushes again – first for her own enjoyment, then for commissions from supportive friends, and now to a whole community of fans! Over time, Emma has developed a distinctive style, that dances with both abstraction and figurative motifs. Emma’s works use geometric colour blocking and abstract shapes to create nude scenes that are both fluid and contained. She explains ‘working with such a classical subject matter and one which has been championed by male artists throughout the western canon, I wanted for my own take on the nude to be thoroughly feminine, and to celebrate and explore the ever evolving concept of womanhood.’

Emma’s process begins with a rough drawing of the figure/s and then blocking out shapes in the body. The lines create new forms, that ‘obscure the distinction between positive and negative space.’ A limited colour palette and balanced design ensures the scene doesn’t become overly cluttered or confusing, resulting in striking, contemporary compositions, with a clear nod to historic classicism.

Emma’s work has developed a strong following on instagram, where she explains ‘I get a lot of positive feedback from women who connect with the subject matter, and the overall feeling of the work.’ She describes a huge range of influences on her own work, including 20th century icons such as Matisse, Picasso, Milton Avery and Tamara de Lempica.

We are thrilled to have Emma participate in the Art&Artefact opening December 14th – we hope you’ll join us!

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The Design Files acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of the lands on which we work, the Wurundjeri people of the Kulin Nation. We pay our respects to Elders past and present.

First Nations artists, designers, makers, and creative business owners are encouraged to submit their projects for coverage on The Design Files. Please email bea@thedesignfiles.net