Emma describes herself as a diverse multimedia artist. I first came across her work as I was dawdling through Adelaide airport back in 2009. “Panoramic Bodies” was a series of starkly coloured body painted acrobats standing in dynamic poses upon the South Australian, drought ravaged landscape. They were simply breathtaking, with their bright primary hues. Her work captivated me then as much as it does now. Emma began her 21 year career as a make-up artist and hairdresser who painted children’s faces, now she is a body illustrator and visual artist who commands worldwide acclaim.
In her early work she just wanted to change the confines of the body shape and initially left some skin showing. These works often show a model with paintings behind them. The background shapes seem to creep over the surface of the models’ skin threatening to envelop them.
Later, she discovered the unique wallpapers of the fiery and flamboyant Australian Artist Florence Broadhurst. Her following work took on a new flavour where the model almost disappears into the background.
Her work is strong, as it showcases the strength of the human form against a patterned background. Her reinterpretation of the female body in this manner is liberating.
Her latest work “Utopia” is striking as it incorporates real birds, butterflies and deer into the artwork. They interact casually with the camouflaged model which disappears into a shimmering, sunlit landscape. Her creative new work removes much of the organised patterned “print’ and replaces it with a harmonic, organic landscape. Reliant more on the interaction between like colours and tones than on strong contrast. None the less her new series boldly makes a statement concerning our place in the natural world.