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!