ARTINFO REVIEW Florence Broadhurst lives on in live art by Emma Hack

By Lisa Monique

Published: October 12, 2009

image 1MELBOURNE – Florence Broadhurst was a floral delight. While her story tragically ended, she left behind an artful legacy of screen printed elegance. Like her art, her life was layered with colours and designs that only made sense as a whole. Peeling the layers from one another reveal clues to a sketch that can never be known.

Emma Hack prints yet another layer of the story. Not on a screen, but on her muse’s body. Or so she did in East St Kilda’s, Obscura Gallery, last Sunday afternoon.

Her muse strolled into the gallery space dressed in nothing but a white g-string and stood blank before Florence Broadhurst Tropical Floral. Emma then painted her muse white before shrouding the figure in a wallpaper wonder.

From the first black brushstroke at 2 o’clock, to the final splash at 5, Emma’s muse was camouflaged into the design and became just one more layer of the Broadhurst legacy.


Like what you see? Sign up for ARTINFO’s weekly newsletter to get the latest on the market, emerging artists, auctions, galleries, museums, and more.


With this Live Installation Artwork, Adelaide artist, Emma Hack launched her debut solo exhibition in Melbourne. She began her career as a make-up artist and body illustrator for theatre productions.  She soon discovered that her edgy creations transformed into elegant pieces of art, once photographed.

Her adoration of Broadburst designs prompted her to experiment with the concept of painting her models ‘into’ the wallpaper and photographing the outcome. Later she discovered her own flare for photography and began directing every stage of the work from start to end.

Emma sent one of her works to Signature Prints, the Sydney based print making company who manages the estate of Florence Broadhurst and still employ the same hand printed techniques used by Broadhurst to reproduce her wallpaper designs. They fell in love with Emma’s project and gave her full access to the Broadhurst archives for her art practice, the only artist who has been given this privilege. Emma Hack’s Wallpaper Collection was born.

Obscura Gallery displays nine of these wallpaper wonders as part of a retrospective of four other Emma Hack Collections, including Panoramic Bodies, Beautiful Ways to Die and Fragile Dolls, as well as five new works from the newly created collection, Native Mandalas. In this series, Emma creates her own background designs, intertwining abstract forms with native flora in the shape of a Mandala. Each muse is then painted ‘into’ the Mandala holding a different native Australian bird and photographed. The muses are superbly camouflaged in these works, giving the sensation that the birds are floating gently within the composition.

Obscura Gallery and its staff have been overwhelmed by the response to the works, and have welcomed the support of Marie Falcinella, who was the Gallery Manager of Emma’s Adelaide gallery, Art Images Gallery. Marie shares her powerful admiration for the work through graceful and insightful observations. Marie will also attend as keynote speaker at the closing party, along with the classical delights of French Horn player Susan Scott, Conservatorium of Music in Sydney.

The wallpapers will be stripped from the gallery walls on October 19th.

Related Links

Emma Hack

Obscura Gallery

Florence Broadhurst

ART Melbourne

ART Sydney

Canvas in Concert

The Daily Telegraph

Your Views

Send a letter to the Editor


Save to

Digg this

One Response to “ARTINFO REVIEW Florence Broadhurst lives on in live art by Emma Hack”

  1. Fitzroyalty Says:

    Would you be interested in seeing your work about local places syndicated on local news blogs? See St Kilda for example. Over 300 local bloggers are already contributing. There’s no advertising and no exploitation of your content – just a convenient way for local people to read local news. To contribute please add suburb categories, tags or labels to all of your relevant posts, such as ‘Fitzroy’, ‘St Kilda’, etc and let me know you’ve done this. RSS feeds for these tags are created and added to the local news sites. You should find that syndication brings more traffic to your blog and more comments from readers!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: