Q&A With Emmanuelle McGlade

Q&A With Emmanuelle McGlade

Very excited to welcome Emmanuelle Mcglade's abstract drawings to pépite's collection. Read below to find out more about her art journey and inspirations.

You can view all available artworks by Emmanuelle Mcglade over here.

• Can you start by telling us a bit about yourself, your background and your journey to starting your creative practice?

My childhood was unconventional in many ways. I was exposed to art and design early in life which definitely influenced my desire to create. My dad is an artist and from a young age I would watch and learn from him, sometimes I would even help with his creations. We grew up on a large property in a converted shearing shed which doubled as dad’s studio and workshop. It was here that I discovered the joy of being in the natural landscape. Growing up within this environment formed the way I think about nature today and has greatly influenced my creative practice. After finishing year 12, I studied fine art and graduated with a degree in drawing and printmaking from the Victorian College of the Arts in 2016. I have been developing my practice ever since.

• Where do you find inspiration for your work?

Many things inspire me; various compositions, systems and colours that appear in everyday life, music, architecture, ordinary objects, the list could go on, but I do find most of my inspiration within the natural landscape and my surrounding environment. 

• How did you develop your current aesthetic and what are the most significant aspects of it?

I suppose it just evolved very naturally. I have always had an appreciation for fine details and wanted to explore the subtleties of simplicity. I’m interested in exploring the idea that something can have qualities of delicacy and boldness simultaneously. There is a recurring tension between imperfection and perfection in my work.

• Could you tell us a bit about your creative process and the materials you use? Do you have the same approach to each work or do they evolve differently each time?

My works are created on paper using soft pastels and tape which is used to create a mask. Sometimes I have a plan of how I want it to look but it can naturally evolve into something else entirely. Often my starting point could be a particular colour or colour palette I want to explore and I work from there. Other times I start from a memory of a place, drawing from an emotional response.

• Have you always worked primarily with this medium or has your practice developed over time?

I actually used to dislike pastels quite a bit, mainly the feeling of them in your hands (they sort of feel like chalk) but I have come to love them. I am drawn to pastels for their immediacy, and raw and tactile qualities. I also quite like that I am using pastels in an unexpected way.

I studied drawing and printmaking, focusing on lithography in my final year. When I didn’t have that same access to the printmaking facilities - I found pastels.

Photography has also played a big role in my work. I’m usually in a constant back and forth flow between photography and drawing. I use photography as a method of documentation of places and memories which may later inform one of my pieces.

• Could you please describe the current workspace/studio you create in?

It’s a very tiny space in an old house with two trestle tables, white walls and a window that looks out to a grevillea tree that sways and taps against the glass in the wind.

• What is your relationship with colour and how does it influence your work?

I find it fascinating how particular colours can stimulate people in very different ways. I am interested in thinking about colour as a mode or representation of emotions and contemplation. In my work I also like to explore the interplay between colours by using different combinations.

• What’s next for your creative practice? Do you have any upcoming projects you’re looking forward to?

For now I’m just really just excited to have my work at pépite and have it available to people in a way it hasn’t been before. I will also be travelling around rural Australia, gathering inspiration and ideas for a new series of works, which will include some large pieces as well.

emmanuelle mcglade 

Emmanuelle Mcglade