Emma Hack's 'GenZ' a reflection

 
DSC6144-Edit1.jpg

Being an artist is not an easy thing. Being a contemporary artist making a full time living with their art is something special. Atkins has been working with Emma Hack for over a decade. Emma's art has always been strong, and it has continues to evolve, couple this with the growth of her identity and business sense, and she is set aside from anyone else. Emma has a deep sense of contemporary style, she is always on the mark. Consider the body painting sequence that is at the visual heart of Wally Gauthier's world number one music video "Some Body I Used to Know". Music videos have always been that mash of fashion, art, dance performance and music, popular ones by their very definition, are the expression of 'now'.

The latest body of work by Emma, GenZ, is an entirely new series and direction for Emma's art. Unlike her extremely popular series that works with Florence Broadhurst's wall papers, this is a complete collection, conceived and delivered as one, in the style of a grand gallery exhibition. The Emma Hack Gallery on O'Connell Street North Adelaide (a shopping and restaurant street just out of the city Adelaide), has been completely dressed to compliment the work, from flooring to wall paper.

The works themselves are photographs printed on cotton, backed with calico and then hand embroidered. Emma's embroidery is crazy good, with some of the pieces taking over one hundred and sixty hours to complete. They are then nested in a handmade frame, with a spectacular boxing-in that echoes the art, this is all set behind museum glass, and hung over wallpaper that again echoes the works. A gallery visit is like gazing into a faceted mirror at the works. It is a masterful execution on a large scale.

The embroidery is Emma's way of bringing a dimension to the work that talks to this generation's dualistic passion for technology and the handmade. It also takes the step away from traditional printed photographic art, which can edition easily, to a true one-off, hand crafted piece.

The embroidery is Emma's way of bringing a dimension to the work that talks to this generation's dualistic passion for technology and the handmade. It also takes the step away from traditional printed photographic art, which can edition easily, to a true one-off, hand crafted piece.

GenZ does feel like a national gallery executed show. It is a big thing to invest so much into supporting these pieces. And it works so well,  it is another strong move for Emma and her brand.

Working with Emma over her career has pushed Atkins in so many ways, with her recent commissions to curate public spaces to some of the physically largest fine art limited edition prints we have ever made. With Madame Hanoi, where we framed over 100 pieces of ephemera in a style reminiscent of French colonial Vietnam for Emma to support her curation of a new restaurant space. These skills flowed over to GenZ, where the 100mm deep cotton stretched works needed something special to contain them.

The cotton printing alone was a challenge our fine art printing department, add to this the uncharted concept of printing the frame interior, and massive wall paper layout, print and installation, we felt we too have stepped up to another level. But the magic that can happen when the artist’s vision is built all in the one business with everyone putting their all into it, is unlike any other.

While I'm patting ourselves on he back, I'd like to thank, David our master printer (and newly minted 3d gallery modeller of gallery spaces!), Miriam for her work in helping prepare the images and print AND frame AND hang the wallpaper, to Mandy for the hard work and ingenuity in the stretching, custom making the frames, AND installing the wallpaper, and her assistant Andrew for his attention to detail in the frame assembly. It is rare to find a more willing group of artisans.

We entered the GenZ project as a sponsor of the wallpaper because I felt this vision of Emma's was something we needed to make happen. We too want to continue to grow, and a full environment dressing is a part of our future. For Emma's GenZ we did have help as a sponsor, we wish to thank Des for the PhotoTex material we used to wrap the space, and Graphic Art Supplies and Epson for help with the ink we used to make all of the printing.

Working as any artist is like being in a constant state of 'startup'. Think of startup as a new tech company bringing the latest software to market, there is great risk, and few make it financially. In the software startup world there is nothing to be made from copying another's work, your offering must be unique. You must disrupt. We have based our business on this idea, of trying to work with artist outside the business, our clients and inside the business, our staff, to create truly unique and extraordinary things.

As is the work of a contemporary artist. They cannot continue to produce the same work, they are in a constant state of invention. This is where Emma's greatest success lies.

Emma Hack Gallery Shop 14, North Adelaide Village (entrance, next to Un Caffe) 67 O’Connell St, North Adelaide, 5007, SA AUSTRALIA

Opening Hours: 11am – 5pm Wednesday – Friday 10am – 4pm Saturday and Sunday Closed Public Holidays