Sensitive and quiet, though ambition doesn’t go astray. Meet Emma Gale, frolicking with mediums in Byron Bay.
“I need to paint. I need to release my creativity through my art. It’s part of me and my soul. It’s just there.” To be extremely content as an artist is a rare anomaly. Emma is the kind you wouldn’t usually stumble upon. Owning an optimistic nature towards the pieces she produces, is indeed an oversight in artists across history. What we know to be true is the artists ‘struggle’ for perfectionism and individuality. But not Emma, she is not phased nor moved by what is missing in her pieces, rather utterly present with what is, and sways within the unexpected realm we like to call, creativity.
Growing up in Sydney, Emma’s foundational skills began in the graphic design industry. After later discovering she held a deep connection to creating art with her hands, she decided to pursue painting and ceramics full-time, alongside her family in their studio in Northern New South Wales.
With an imaginative flair dawning at such a young age, Emma reveals, ‘I was always creating as a kid, making things and drawing. All I wanted to be was an artist, or working in some far away land. I was always thinking about far lands, exotic places and other cultures.’
Acutely aware of her inner workings, Emma pays attention to what is going on inside of her. Producing art from a voice or feeling that stirs within, she says, ‘some days I feel I must paint, it flows quickly and eagerly. Other days, I feel I must sculpt clay to ground myself with the earth, to sculpt with my hands, to create form.’
What resonates with Emma is a sense of common ground from one of man-kinds most quintessential artists, ‘the best quote for me is from Frida Kahlo who said – I paint because I need to…
After deciding to set up a workshop with Sudanese refugees in Cairo, she taught screen printing on fabric, ‘We created a store that produced printed fabric, by which we then sewed bags, cushion covers and t-shirts. It was a life changing experience for a young me.’
Living in Cairo allowed Emma to be further connected with that of which she was creating. Roaming amongst the country with its timeworn treasures was permanent nostalgia, something she draws inpsiration from still to this day.
She says, ‘My mind is always busy wondering. I have lots of books and images from around the world. I find inspiration in the smallest of things. It’s rather in looking closer at objects, colours, people and places.’
Emma has a goal. It is to ‘make you feel an emotion’ with her art, not to just fill up a space. She declares, ‘It must evoke something in the viewer whether it’s the subject matter; the colours that you just can’t take your eyes off. I want the viewer to be transported to that far distant place – to feel the music, the heat, the street life.’
” It’s a history of mark making, of stories, of good and bad mistakes. It’s all part of the painting and each canvas is a journey that I go on. My strokes are raw and free, with the paint loose. Nothing is hidden.”
— EMMA GALE