Emma Itzstein, Artist
You just had your debut solo show “YIN”, congratulations! Tell us a bit about your inspiration behind these pieces?
Thank you! YIN is a very personal show for me. It’s my debut solo exhibition and is a body of work which has been produced over the past year as an expression of navigating and healing my generalised anxiety - both a manifestation of my introspection and my own version of art therapy. The pieces all feature a botanical, mainly Australian natives, as the ultimate symbol of stillness, mindfulness and simple pleasures.
How has your style of painting developed over time?
My main practice used to be in printing making as one-off ‘unique state’ mixed media prints. These were layered screen prints and risographs and required a very methodical and controlled way of conceptualising and then executing the vision. This practice was perfect while I was still studying Law at university, because I had to compartmentalise my creativity to a degree and I didn’t have a lot of time to work with. Since moving to Victoria (from Perth) I now have a home studio and I’ve been afforded the time to experiment and get a little crazy with materials and paint. This journey of self-reflection and expression comes through in my painting style.
If you could exhibit anywhere in the world, where would it be?
In Australia, I’d love to exhibit at Sophie Gannon Gallery or OLSEN Gallery one day. Life goals would be somewhere like MACBA in Barcelona or one day have something hanging in Centre Pompidou in Paris (haha a girl can dream, can’t she?…) Until then, anywhere in Paris would be amazing!
What do you love about Australia?
Where do I start! Every day I reflect on just how lucky I am to live in such a naturally beautiful country with an amazing lifestyle and endless opportunities. Being from Perth I’m a massive beach baby and love the ocean. Whenever I’m feeling down the ocean grounds and revitalises me! I miss being able to run down to Cottesloe to catch the sunset everyday but I think Melbourne makes up for it with its restaurants and coffee ;)
What is your all-time favourite piece of clothing?
Years ago I bought the cutest knitted top from Maison MANOUSH in Paris. I’ve been wearing it every summer for over 7 years now and even though it features a million different colours and this loud rose motif with sequins I never get sick of it! It’s just so happy and reminds me of fun times spent under the European sun.