During Emilie’s time at Testing Grounds, she will focus on her special practice, particularly with viewing devices, investigating the impact on her work in public space. She will also work on producing a new body of work for a solo show programmed at Forty-five Downstairs Gallery in late January 2020.
Emilie is a Melbourne based artist currently finishing her PhD at the Victorian College of the Arts on the narratives and imagination of adventure. She works with a range of media, from video to printmaking and 3D printing. She is also a comic book artist and her works have been published in The Lifted Brow and by Tree paper comics.
Since I moved into Testing Grounds Studio I am allowing my practice to explore in a range of different directions. Recently finishing a PhD at the nearby VCA is allowing me to feel free to try a new type of practice, outside of the Art School institution and research framework. It’s a good feeling! At the moment, my practice is going in three directions: fabricating viewing boxes, keeping a drawing journal, reflecting on my practice and a growing interest in trying my practice with engagement and community program.
I am fascinated by viewing boxes and devices. I particularly love the intimate relationship that looking at an image through a device creates. When I peer through a pair of binoculars – in awe of the magical power of the lenses – bringing the far away so close to my eye, I let go an ’ooooh’ sounds in fascination. If a friend is standing next to me, I feel them eager, anxious to have a go and see what I am seeing. But I don’t see them, I don’t see anything, my face is hidden, absorbed by the binoculars, I’m teleported far away, here is what I am looking at. I am making a pair of viewing boxes, each containing an enigmatic image of the back of an eye. You will be able to see the blind spot, the light reflecting at the back to the retinas, a single eye staring at you through the peeping hole.
Keeping a drawing journal to test out ideas, reflect on conversations and shows, as well as document my creative process is really helping me to push my practice in a new direction. I would like to find a platform to share those drawing, but I am unsure of what is best suited at the moment.
I made a couple of small wood prints that will be presented at the next exhibition at Fortyfive Downstairs Gallery, ‘Small’. A ‘Pie and tomato sauce’, and a ‘Daruma doll’ woodprint. the opening is on the 29th of November, come and check it out! I have also been listening avidly to Pro Prac Podcast: it’s a podcast where artists talk about their professional practice: concrete things – like how to have a sustainable practice and a balanced lifestyle! It feels good to hear artist talking about their practice in that way!