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Emma Hearnes

From Bairnsdale,but studying and isolating in Melbourne


In 2017 when she was 17, Emma won the inaugural EGAG WRAP Small Artwork Prize for a delicate drawing titled Erase. Originally from Bairnsdale, Emma is now studying Visual Arts at Victorian College of the Arts, Melbourne.

'In early March, what seems like moments before the world took such a strange turn, I had the opening of my solo exhibition, ‘Eating Wholemeal Bread is Enough’ at Brunswick Street Gallery. Seeing the work hung up, with a glass of red in hand, surrounded by friends and family was a celebration of work that felt honest and personal to me.  The exhibition was an assemblage of poetry, generated (black-out poetry style) from the 1939 book entitled ‘The Modern Woman’s Home Doctor’. The poems were ruminations on femininity, adulthood, self-care and lessons I have learnt, and acted as a kind of personal reclamation of what it is to be a ‘Modern Woman’. These works were also documentation of my rediscovering of a love of paint after spending a year at art school doing everything but painting

I always find immediately after a group of works are done for a show or project, I am left completely lost as to what to do and almost uninterested in art. The timing of this show ending, aligning with both this lock-down and taking a leave of absence from uni has somewhat compounded this dilemma. But, for now, I am writing poetry and journal entries and shopping lists, baking with enough butter, cream and sugar to elicit joy, learning how to make pasta from scratch and telling myself that as long as I am creating something it is an art practice.

I am picking up the paintbrush or pencil for the odd commission or on days when I feel like it, but until I am a ‘painter’ again I am very much enjoying being a baker, writer, cook, expert list maker, Disney enthusiast, professional Offspring binger and full time pyjama wearer.'

- Emma Hearnes, Melbourne, May 2020

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