By Lisa Monique
Published: October 12, 2009
MELBOURNE – 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.
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.
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.