THE ART OF STYLE

Sought-af­ter Emma Gale artist shares her pas­sion

Northern Rivers Style - - STYLEQUEEN - SUNI GO­LIGHTLY

Ban­ga­low-based pain­ter and sculp­tor Emma Gale started her cre­ative ca­reer in ad­ver­tis­ing and graphic de­sign, but quickly tran­si­tioned to be­come a sought-af­ter artist whose vi­brant works have been ex­hib­ited at Anthea Pol­son Art Gallery on the Gold Coast and the renowned Fenton & Fenton in Mel­bourne.

We spoke to the mother of two about her cre­ative process, and the art of just get­ting started.

HAVE YOU AL­WAYS BEEN CRE­ATIVE?

Yes, as long as I can re­mem­ber. I was al­ways draw­ing and mak­ing things – my hands are never idle.

WHEN DID YOU DE­CIDE YOU COULD MAKE A LIV­ING FROM YOUR ART?

I al­ways wanted to be an artist. I had a ro­man­tic vi­sion of my­self liv­ing in Europe like a bo­hemian, like Pi­casso hang­ing in the cafes ev­ery night. I went over­seas for two years and when I came back I ended up in an ad­ver­tis­ing agency draw­ing and do­ing mock-ups for clients.

I found my­self with a com­puter in front of me as that was the way it was back then, and I stayed in the graphic arts in­dus­try for a while.

Since mov­ing to the Byron Shire 20 years ago, I started painting again. Even­tu­ally, I was sell­ing work, so I started painting full time.

It’s not an easy pro­fes­sion, and comes with loads of ups and downs, but it’s me and I re­ally can’t do any­thing else. It’s all I know. My happy place is in my stu­dio with paint­brush in hand.

TELL US ABOUT THE MA­TE­RI­ALS YOU USE

I use acrylic paint on can­vas. I love acrylic. It dries quickly and I can layer it and rub it off and layer it again all very quickly. I don’t mix things into the paint, it’s just acrylic.

And I found another love: clay. I love us­ing the earthy RAKU clay, it’s gritty and thick. I make rus­tic sculp­tural pieces. I find that process dif­fer­ent to painting; some days I like to sit and feel grounded to the earth and make a piece. Some­times things change shape on the way but that’s ok too, it’s all in process.

HOW DO YOU CHOOSE YOUR SUB­JECT MAT­TER?

My art tells a story, it’s my story around a sub­ject. I paint to cre­ate a feel­ing for the viewer. I love other cul­tures and places and ever since I was a kid I have been fas­ci­nated with the world map and wanted to go to tiny re­mote towns and places. I like to de­pict or­di­nary peo­ple do­ing their daily rou­tines. My in­flu­ences come from Cuba, In­dia, Africa, Mex­ico and Puerto Rico.

WHAT DO YOU BE­LIEVE GREAT ART CAN DO FOR A PER­SON OR A SPACE?

I be­lieve in buy­ing art if you love it. There is no point buy­ing art be­cause some­one said it’s a good in­vest­ment, you buy it be­cause it means some­thing to you. The piece has to pull you in, you have to have a feel­ing for it and the story it is telling you.

PHOTO: JAC­QUI TURK

Emma Gale in her stu­dio.

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