Emma Hack is an Adelaide-based artist working in the unique medium of body paint installation and photography. Exhibiting extensively throughout Australia since 1999, Emma’s astounding artworks have since captured the attention of collectors and art lovers worldwide.
Within the past year, Emma Hack has held successful solo shows at Rebecca Hossack Art Gallery, NYC and London, The Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong, Linton & Kay Galleries, Perth and Bluerider Art in Taipei as well as hugely successful art fairs in Singapore, Brussels, Aspen, The Hamptons, Hong Kong and Milan. Emma has received great acclaim for her refined body paint camouflage technique; through a combination of painting on canvas, body painting and studio-based photography, her work evokes a rich array of visual narrative and magical realism.
We all know her from the collaboration with Grammy award winning musician Gotye, which resulted in the iconic, award winning music video for “Somebody That I Used to Know”. The video has been viewed by over 550 million people worldwide, raising her profile in the US, UK and Europe. Emma has since worked on major artistic commissions for Motor Accident Commission, South Australia, where she built a sculpture of 17 bodies, painted as a crashed car, again drawing worldwide attention to her craft. For more of the artist visit her website www.emmahackartist.com.au and check out the interview below.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Determined, continuously distracted and fun.
What made you want to become an artist?
I think I always wanted to be an artist as I just enjoyed the process of creating so much. It wasn’t really a considereation as a career for me and maybe more a wish than reality until I was in my late 20’s and really focused on the way I create and why.
Whom do you look up to?
My husband, my mum and dad. As I mature, I think it’s best not to put others on pedestals, I would rather be inspired by them.
Are there any personalities that have contributed to your successful career path?
Of course I would have to say Gotye in the video I worked on with Natasha Pincus the director/producer. It’s my most famous work as an International artist and has paved the way for many opportunites for all of us.
What was your favourite project and why?
I am very much enjoying my new embroidery works as they allow time to create, rather than the rushed feeling I have when creating the body art works, I am enjoying mixed medium and texture.
How do you define creativity?
It’s a gift I believe everybody has, it depends on your process of growing and how your work was treated at a young age. We all grew up painting and making things. Obviously we are more creative in different areas but I believe we are all creative.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as an artist?
Being different, as the galleries couldn’t pigeonhole my work and weren’t sure how to take it as it is very aesthetically beautiful. In saying this, I am the only one in the world creating in the art market this way so I am blessed by being different as well.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
Plan your work, work your plan. My dad taught me that when going into business for myself, it pulls me back to think more.
If you had one advice for someone seeking to live a creative life, what would you tell him?
Work hard, be true to yourself, have great morals and ethics, dream!
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
I would not wish to tell my younger self of anything. I was naive and sweet, that was certainly part of my story. Everything that has happened to you makes you the person you are and I am happy with who I am.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for art?
Not really. Even if I did, I would still be creating inside
All images © Emma Hack