Emma Itzstein

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'Stories are just as important as if they existed in reality; it makes no difference' 
- Paula Rego.
 
Emma Itzstein is a contemporary Australian artist whose painting practice exists as an embodiment of her exploration and understanding of human psychology. She approaches the canvas with philosophical and spiritual context, using gardens and the landscape as symbolic subjects to communicate personal discoveries. With an interest in themes of memory and narrative, through the process of applying paint, she aims to glean insight and acceptance of her own psyche as well as contextualising her connectiveness with places and people.
 
Her visual language employs a tension of loose and tight marks to conjure a personal wrestle to accept paradox in every facet of life. Both her process and rhythmic aesthetic treatment aims to marry instinct and chaos, with control and mindfulness, creating a temporal visual dance between the two. In exploring this tension in her work, she seeks to challenge ‘all or nothing’ thinking in favour of being at peace with contradiction, radical uncertainty and infinite possibility.
 
Over the last few years in and out of lockdown, Emma has been particularly interested in public vs private space and how we collectively populate space with energy and a transient like rhythm. The eight works represent the gardens at the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne, a hub to many in these times of solitude. Heavily inspired by instrumental music, they strive to symbolise a pulsing return to movement and connection.
 
Emma holds a Bachelor of Laws and Arts from the University of Western Australia. As winner of the Macquarie Emerging Artist Prize (2020) and recipient of the City of South Perth Emerging Artist Award (2014), Mid West Art Prize Youth Award (2013) and the Mandorla Art Emerging Artist Award (2010), Emma is recognised for her painting and unique state printmaking. Her portraiture has been selected for inclusion in the Lester Prize Salon des Refuses (2013). Emma’s work is also held in the collections of Macquarie Bank, Fiona Stanley Hospital and St John of God Hospital.


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