Australian artist Emma Michaelis makes large-scale coloured pencil on paper drawings which seek to uncover the human relationship to parameters of physicality and the conscious/unconscious link between self and body.
With a focus on female subjectivity, Emma asks the viewer to redefine their ideas of the location of being, using surface as a juncture between the viewer and the image, she bodily constructs the works life sized, questioning individual and shared experiences of being through reconstruction of the figure.
Asking: can we know what it is in some art that engenders real affective connections rather than detached representation? Seeking to locate the moment where we can begin to recognise the self present in the image of an others form and reconcile that understanding with the reality of being bodily.
In her current practice, she is particularly interested in exploring the female body as a site of rich and contested meanings. Exploring the complex tensions that exist in the space between actual embodied female experience and its representations, and how she might productively enter that space in the work as a female visual artist drawing real women.
Through years of making art and extensive working and exhibiting, Emma has developed a deep connection to the articulation and interpretation of the human condition corporeally. Often utilising the female figure shown in a moment of disconnected, quiet contemplation, to open up conversations about the fractured nature of self knowing and the affective interpretations of art and body which help to navigate discussions of the relational potential existing between the viewer and artwork for affectively interpreting through the body, art concerning the body fragmented.