I’m not accustomed to meeting people and then, within an hour, being naked from the waist up. There is a certain level of vulnerability that comes with that kind intimacy. Yet I knew the opportunity to stand for Emma Hack, the internationally acclaimed artist, was one I was not going to pass on.
I’ve been captivated by Emma’s works since my first encounter and I know the initial feeling of being drawn to intricate patterns, bold colours or subtle curves is then heightened to sheer joy and fascination upon making the discovery of a human form, an animal or both carefully camouflaged within a piece.
Like all ‘sensible’ individuals, I chose to ignore the advice of Emma and proceeded to diet for six weeks prior to the day of creation. This, when coupled with a severe bout of bronchitis, laryngitis, low blood pressure and the flutter of butterflies in my stomach, resulted in my fainting within 15 minutes of arrival. Needless to say I was mortified as I lay on the floor topless, my leggings half way down my thighs while the women I was shamelessly trying to impress fetched me water, pasta and a pillow of sorts.
We were off to a slow start…
Thankfully, the first things you will notice about Emma though are her presence, her patience (her works can take up to 23 hours to create) and her ability to make you feel at ease. As she continued to reassure me that it ‘happened all the time’ and shield me from the nosy eyes of Adelaide’s passers by on King William Rd, I was desperately hoping the reality of the day I was experiencing, would catch up with the vision for the day I had so confidently pictured in my head.
After sufficient carb loading and armed with Powerade and chewing gum we soon established a routine and the transformation began. And what a transformation it was. For the better part of a day, Emma carefully, yet swiftly, recreated the lines of the Florence Broadhurst ‘Tropical Floral’ print. (Learn more about Florence Broadhurst at http://www.florencebroadhurst.com.au or check out some more of her designs at http://www.signatureprints.com.au)
The creation of the artwork happened in stages and each stage brought with it key points and vivid memories. Notable mentions have to go to having a flesh coloured g-string glued to me, the last point of being able to sit, or bend my abdomen, for fear of smudging the design; or the experience of having the inside of my nostrils painted (which is a highly unique, yet bizarrely pleasant sensation) so as to avoid hints of pink during the photography stage.
As Emma continually moved back and forth between the camera and myself I tried to remain motionless when required, as the slightest movement could ruin the image. But for the most part we were able to speak freely about her new collection, travel, love and music and before I knew it the reality of the day I was experiencing had begun to exceed the reality of the day I had envisaged.
The transformation was complete. I was part of the optical illusion, the magic, the world of art and most surprisingly was feeling a powerful sexiness that came with being totally incognito.
If you want to learn more about Emma you can do the following
Peruse her website http://www.emmahackartist.com.au,
See her work in Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used To Know’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UVNT4wvIGY&list=PLB33D5D049C5DD552
Visit her pop up gallery April 19th – June 15th 2014
124 King William Road, Hyde Park Adelaide.
All rights reserved © 2014 Kate Vista