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Featured Artist: Emma Itzstein

5th June 2018 Featured Artists

Emma Itzstein is a talented visual artist working in the mediums of painting and mixed media. Her use of layering, combined with an earthy colour palette and expressive, intuitive brushstrokes are a fresh and unique take on floral representation. Earlier this year, Emma released three limited edition prints of her botanical paintings and without doubt, they've been a hit. We are proud to support Emma in her creative journey through printing her beautiful botanical work.

Read on to find out more about Emma's background in painting, creative influences and the solo exhibition in August she has been busily preparing for.

How did you first get started in painting and what drew you to the medium?

Directly after high school, my practice was predominately in printmaking - risograph, linocut & screen printing. I experimented with painting here and there, but mainly as a part or step of my printmaking process. My switch of focus came after my move from Perth to Geelong, and in many ways reflects this transition and growth in myself as a person. Printmaking, for me, is a very conscious, planned, methodical process. Even though I was creating “Unique States”, rather than editions, I still approached each work with careful consideration and a unique conceptual viewpoint - it was a very controlled way of working.

Since moving into my Geelong studio, I’ve pushed away from this, in favour of experimentation and play. Painting, to me, is a brilliant way to break the rules and express myself in a more raw and spontaneous way. It’s reversed the process for me. Instead of me telling the work what I want it to be - my new work evolves on instinct and my gut reactions to the developments on canvas. This breakaway has been very meaningful to me, both creatively and personally. 

Who/what influences your practice? Where do you look for inspiration and ideas for your work?

It’s my deeply personal experiences in life and perspectives in these moments of impact that influence my practice at its core. My use of subject matter is more subjectively symbolic than purely observational. My recent practice, as far as process is concerned, is probably influenced by San Fransisco contemporary artist Heather Day - the juxtaposition of painterly flow and mindful mark-making. Stylistically and aesthetically I am influenced by David Bromley, Andy Warhol, Henri Matisse and the Fauve masters. I also get a lot of inspiration from Australia’s best interior design houses. 

You’ve been hard at work preparing for your solo show in August at Brunswick Street Gallery. We’d love to know a little bit about the theme or motivations behind the exhibition and what we can expect to see!

The show is called Yin. The body of work is an exploration of abstract botanical art as an expression of navigating and healing my experience with anxiety. Multiple layers of instinctual markings represent the manic and cyclical unconscious mind. Overlay of floral forms embody the simplicity and stillness of mindfulness and naivety of colour and play, offering an artistic and mental relief.

Decay (detail) 2018
Decay (detail) 2018

Can you give us a little bit of an insight into your reproduction process? Do you capture the artworks yourself?

Most of my canvas works are 30x40 inches and larger so I need to get them professionally photographed as they’re generally too large to scan. By getting a professional to capture the work, they’re able to make sure the studio lighting is perfect to ensure the print file reflects the reality of the piece in the flesh. It also ensures the files are large enough to print the reproductions in ultimate sharpness.

How have you found printing at Image Science?

Printing at Image Science has been a very seamless process for me. As a first-time reproduction printer, the staff at Image Science helped me every step of the way, from finding a photographer, to setting up my print files, and providing super fast print & post turnaround times. 

How has being able to create edition prints been influential to your business?

Edition prints are a great way to increase your earnings potential on each work as an artist, but also offers the market a more affordable way to invest. With greater access to artist work on social media and self-managed websites, it’s democratising the art-world, but also making it easier for more artists to make a genuine living from their work. 

What do you have planned for the rest of 2018? Any other exhibitions, projects or exciting commissions?

After my exhibition at BSG in August, my focus will be on re-launching my print-shop to offer a much larger selection in the lead up to Christmas. I also have a few private commissions to focus on late in the year, one of which is an exciting large work for a luxury retreat on the Bellarine Peninsula, which is opening in October - stay posted!

To purchase Emma's limited edition prints please visit her online store. Keep an eye out for the re-launch of her store in the later half of this year.