I’ve been seduced by a peacock

Published:  April 20, 2010
I’ve been seduced by a peacock

I’ve been seduced and fell in love at an exhibition opening in 2008. The blue eyed girl that mesmerised me was taken by another. I missed out by a moment yet I remember it vividly even today.

The painting was by Emma Sheldrake and the exhibition was appropriately titled ‘Provocative’. Fragile seduction invited attention from every wall. The exhibition sold very quickly and it’s easy to understand why.

I interviewed Emma to try and get to know the woman behind the girl with sad eyes.

I've been seduced by a peacock by Emma Sheldrake

I've been seduced by a peacock by Emma Sheldrake

Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you do.

A creative bunny…dabbling in design & painting.

When did you go out on your own / when did you make art your profession?
I actually started painting as a release when I found out my dad had cancer. Painting has been a release, a meditation and a joy ever since. The best thing is that my dad is now well and is painting also!

Cherry soda pop girl by Emma Sheldrake

Cherry soda pop girl by Emma Sheldrake

What made you choose this direction and what inspired you to make it a career?
Painting gives me a lot of peace of mind and expression. I had too many paintings around the studio and decided to have a show… I haven’t looked back ever since. So really you could say I stumbled into it just by giving it a go.

What did you do before that?
Graphic Design, which I still do, to balance out the painting work. It allows that human interaction so I don’t get lost in the studio. I have a fear I’d never come out!

Tell us about your design process, how do you like to work?
I find people or subjects/reference that engage me in one-way or another with their eye gestures. It’s all about the seduction in the eyes, the rest of my piece is usually a blur.

Thank god for the mirrors by Emma Sheldrake

Thank god for the mirrors by Emma Sheldrake

Your style and subjects are very seductive, how would you describe your painting style?
Pop, erotica, figurative, fashion illustration…

What or who inspires you? Whose style or work do you admire and why?
The act of painting itself inspires me; I guess bringing the subject to life with a ‘less Is more’ attitude. But in terms of artists… people like, Brisbane’s painter Michael Zarvos, who is technically mind-blowing.

Photographer Ellen Von Unwerth, for her sheer saucy and erotic nature. Painter Cherry Hood for her haunting style. Andy Warhol for his blatant, ‘who cares’ attitude.

Painters Esther Erlich & Aaron Nagel for their portrayal of women in their pieces and technical brilliance. Wolfgang Lammie who is an impressionist painter of light and does it so well!

Felicity by Emma Sheldrake

Felicity by Emma Sheldrake

Where is your work exhibited?
Brissy, Melbourne, Sydney, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Ballina & Singapore.
Soon Japan which is really exciting as I have taken inspiration from the Manga style in my works.

How would you describe the Brisbane creative scene? Is Brisbane supportive of your work?
In terms of the art scene it’s a good mix of street & emerging contemporary and established artists. As an example the range of art between Joshua Levi Galleries to someone like Philip Bacon. We have a stunning diversity of the arts.

Goma has made a huge impact in Brisbane, making the public more aware of art in general and highlighting the need for it in society.

Mystery girl by Emma Sheldrake

Mystery girl by Emma Sheldrake

What would you like to see Brisbane do better, what would you like more of?
I would like to see more fusion of creative industries such as art/music/design/architecture etc.

Favourite work that you own? Who is it by and why is it your favourite?
Hard one! A toss up between a Julie Reeves piece, an Andy Wild piece and a Wolfgang Lammie piece all because the lighting is simply so beautiful in each! I also admire the patience in all pieces as I would like some more of that!

Do you have a saying or a motto that you go by?
Two really… Live life to the fullest and patience is my lifetime learning.

Finish this sentence – Creativity is important because…
It keeps me sane!

What are you working on next?
Works for Art Melbourne and a group show for May on the Coast.

Classic 60's model pout by Emma Sheldrake

Classic 60's model pout by Emma Sheldrake

All Images Copyright Emma Sheldrake.


3 Responses

  1. DW

    I am absolutely mesmerized… How am I able to work now… I’m blown away

  2. gorgess pieces – what a star

  3. Great information! I’ve been looking for something like this for a while now. Thanks!

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