Do you feel safe in your room?

Do you feel safe in your room?
Safe when you are so cocooned
Is that where you belong?
I’ve been asking myself for so long.
lyrics from ‘Safe In Your Room’

Space:

  1. A set of points or elements satisfying specified geometric conditions.
  2. The three-dimensional field of everyday experience or its infinite extension.
  3. The expanse in which the solar system, stars, and galaxies exist; universe.
  4. The distance between two points or the area or volume between specified boundaries.
  5. A blank or empty area.
  6. A particular or interval of time.
  7. To arrange or organize a space within.

The question of how an artist’s space affects the creative process is an interesting topic and one that I found increasingly illusive when considering all the implications of what ‘space’ and creativity entails. Struggling to find a cohesive starting point, a thread to muse upon I continually drifted to the notion of my creativity being inspired from a space of amorous desire. Sure I could have listed all the physical spaces I explored in my forty odd moves around Australia and New York and how my artistic practice has changed as a result of my gypsy sensibilities.

Yes I could have explained how my nomadic wandering, travelling from continent to continent traversing the circumference of the earth several times over has forced me to become more ‘mobile’ with my art making.

But when I really analyzed this idea of space in relation to creativity I realize that the creative space I work from is more often than not, an amorous desire for the absent other. This longing for unrequited love, the deep need to communicate with ‘thou who is no longer present’ seems to be a vast space ever expanding within me.

Absence persists – I must endure it. Hence I will manipulate it: transform the distortion of time into oscillation, produce rhythm, make an entrance onto the stage of language…language is born of absence (Roland Barthes, A Lovers Discourse)

Art is an extension of language and language is embedded in history, the origin of which changes dramatically depending on what location and cultural contexts you are exposed to. In my short life I’ve been exposed to quite a lot. Having travelled the world several times over I have also had the privilege of receiving formal art training in painting and drawing, film making and sound engineering. Ever the renaissance woman I happen to be an avid songwriter and singer, writer and photographer. The interesting dichotomy of being an artist is that it’s an interesting dichotomy. The creative process itself is an intangible gem glittering with promise only to disappear when the light illuminating it is dulled.  For this reason alone I try and keep my spaces as light as possible. free from clutter and distraction. I often find myself inspired to create when I am in transit and I always keep a pen and a notepad at close range.

Since my nine years in New York I have obsessively filled over 50 notebooks with declarations of languorous desire, the soliloquy of my ongoing love story. I move through spaces and am ‘moved’ emotionally as a consequence. I am a hopeless romantic. I fall in love with people and places, memories and faces. Sometimes I collect visual mementos, and scraps of paper gestures, reminisces of spaces I have visited and the landscapes that I have travelled. I often use these found materials and collage them together to create not only a visual exploration of these travelled roadmaps, they are also the visualization of my emotional, poetic states of being.  In this sense I am constantly in dialogue with the ‘other’. There is a space in my mind where imagination reigns, it is a place of pure expression and it manifests in a hybrid language – a resounding echo.

  

  

What echoes in me is what I learn with my body: something sharp and tenuous suddenly awakens the body, which meanwhile, has languished in the rational knowledge of a general situation; the word, the image, the thought functions like a whiplash.  (Roland Barthes, A Lovers Discourse)

This is my art. Not overly interested in mimetic realism, my inspiration lies in interpretation through art – bridging the gap between realities and trying to digest and regurgitate a reality not fully understood. I utilize visual and emotive aspects of my lived experience, putting form to the more indecipherable, intangible impulses that exist outside rational experience. Within a milieu of shared cultural history exits my unique story, my experience that I continue to document visually, sonically and through video.

My art is not confined to any one medium though living in New York in other people’s apartments I did have to relinquish the oil painting and opt for more modest (and less toxic) methods of expression. I found myself down sizing my art practice from large-scale paintings, to more modestly ‘postcard’ sized collages which were always intended to convey a sense of place to someone distant, someone who had no concept of “where I am”. And adding to my repertoire as a two dimensional visual artist, I have more recently become fixated with writing songs and making music. My recent exploits include writing and recording my debut album EZ Does It which I initially intended to be called Postcards to My Other as these songs were written mostly for those loved ones I have left behind in Australia. Other songs on the album are dedicated to love gone awry, often resulting in moody ballads and wistful melancholy laments. The space of desire often fills me with the creative urge and I harness this energy in the most creative way possible with a heartfelt song.

Emma will be debuting her solo album, EZ Does It, at the legendary “Don’t Tell Mama” in New York on Saturday 13th and Sunday 21st October 2012. For further details please visit her website.