Waiheke artist Emma Wright’s Waiheke art studio is ‘an absolute delight to visit’. In addition to international and local exhibitions, Wright’s work hangs at the NZ high commission in London. Anyone interested in seeing the workings of a successful Kiwi artist studio, should make a point of visiting this one.
Emma Wright’s work embraces the apparent randomness of life and celebrates the beauty of ‘the big picture’. Her love of the environment, although not explicitly depicted, is in every brush-stroke. She believes “nature is the absolute basis of, and informs, everything we are.” While Wright doesn’t profess to have any of the answers, painting affords her the opportunity to ponder the larger questions and give her subconscious free reign to create.
Wright’s works begin with words – barely visible and completely illegible in the finished pieces – whatever is in her head at the time. The text might be as inane as a few lines borrowed from Dr Seuss, or as fundamental as “I am”. Layer upon layer of different words then make their way onto the canvas using many different medium; paint, ink, canvas, modeling clay. Together they form luscious, abstract ridges, drips and shapes which she describes as “representing all that life throws at us; messy, inconvenient and unpredictable.”
Wright is renown for using geometric shapes to challenge how so often we assume we know the full picture, when in fact we may know only a fraction of it. In her works, the viewer automatically ‘sees’ a full circle when what is off the canvas could actually take an infinite number of forms. We readily assume we know what makes us tick, how life works, and the world go around, but the reality is that life rarely goes as planned. Wright explains, “It always amazes me that I keep thinking the unpredictable will cease. My paintings are a reminder that that’s not the case.”