Artbomb – Emma Davidson

Artbomb is not your average exhibition.  Artbomb: connect + create brings together local artists, our local community and Hurstville Museum & Gallery in a slow release explosion of creativity and artistic expression. This exhibition provides a unique opportunity to meet and collaborate with artists, as they work within our space. Come in and reconnect.

On Thursday 18 June 2020 between 10.00am – 1.00pm, visitors will be able to chat with and observe artist Emma Davidson in the gallery space at Hurstville Museum & Gallery. We were able to ask Emma a few questions in regard to her practice.

Emma-Davidsonode-to-hobbyists

Emma Davidson, ‘Ode to hobbyists’, digital print, 2018.

Can you give us an insight into your artistic process? Is your work pre-planned or created intuitively? How long does each work take to complete?

My practice is quite diverse, ranging from experimental work on paper, illustrations, conceptual projects, zines, and installations. Often my works are composed of many small components which on their own aren’t time-consuming to make, but taken together might represent many hours of work. I do always plan my projects; if I can’t visualise, to some extent, what the end product is going to look like, I know the work probably won’t be successful. This applies even with a work like Wall poem 1, where there are a lot of potential variations in the outcome – I can sort of predict what will happen, because I have imposed limitations on the material and other rules about how the work can be completed. So making the work becomes a bit like a game. My work often begins like that – I find source material, and think, how can I make this a project?

Can you explain your technique; how you manipulate the medium?

I use a lot of different techniques, but I very often begin with looking through old, outdated encyclopedias, children’s books and magazines and finding text and imagery that has a certain feeling or quality about it – of nostalgia, innocence, wonder about exploring the world and the possibilities it contains etc. Once I’ve located this source material, I think about how I can transfer it, or the feeling that I associate with it, into a medium. I use a lot of media, but mostly I use experimental and ‘lo-fi’ print-making techniques. With my recent work I have been experimenting with hand-stamped relief prints and solvent transfers, which are both methods of transferring text onto large pieces of paper.

Emma-Davidsonall-or-nothing9

‘All or nothing’, Chrissie Cotter Gallery 2018.

Do you keep some kind of ongoing drawing book or diary? Or a collection of images or photographs for inspiration?

I keep lots of different notebooks and diaries for different projects. I have a visual diary which I usually use to write down the technical specifications, materials and other considerations for completing a project, and maybe I’ll sketch out ideas to remind myself later of how something looked in my brain. That’s mostly used so I can keep track of my ideas for future projects. I keep writing notebooks for projects like zines that have more prose-style writing. But I don’t, and have never, kept a regular journal or diary – I only record my thoughts when I am working in a project, or when I need to remember something. The other thing I do is write lists. I always have lots of lists of ideas I want to try out as projects I want to complete.

Who are your favourite artists? Who do you draw inspiration from?

One of my biggest and most long-standing influences is graphic artist Gee Vaucher, who created the style and did all of the album artwork for UK anarcho-punk band Crass. I also love the work of British graphic designer Julian House, and German typographer and designer Wolfgang Weingart, whose whole career has been an experiment in exhausting the graphic potential in the material objects around him, whether they are designed to be used in print-making processes or not. Other favourites are Asger Jorn, Gil Wolman, Anni Albers, Mikala Dwyer, Jeremy Deller, Plastic Rupert, Linder and Dexter Fletcher.

For the kids: Download the activity page and learn how to make your own stamps at home.

To learn more about Emma and her practices visit her website: emmadavidson.art

Follow Emma on on Instagram: @eternalproject

Artbomb will be on display at Hurstville Museum & Gallery from 9 June – 26 July 2020.

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