Elzunia Rejmer and the Samhain exhibition

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Published:  November 8, 2010
Elzunia Rejmer and the Samhain exhibition

Elzunia Rejmer is a Brisbane based visual artist who primarily works in clay. Her influences include folklore, myths, religion, art nouveau, art deco, symbolism, biomechanics and social extremes. I caught up with Elzunia on opening night of the Samhain exhibition (a Brisbane exhibition she organised with Mark Cowie) which brought together the works of six emerging Brisbane and Sydney artists. Artists featured are Adam Rowe, Elzunia Rejmer, Joel Lambeth, Lauren Carney, Liam Buchanan and Mark Cowie.

Elzunia Rejmer sculpture

Elzunia Rejmer sculpture

Elzunia, how did you decide to show these artists together in an exhibition?
We approached friends with the idea to create a theme related to Halloween. Samhain is the Celtic Halloween in the northern hemisphere and as an exhibition it’s something we will try and do every year. We have Lauren Carney who is an illustrator, Joel Lambeth is a multi media artist, Mark Cowie an oil painter, Adam Rowe is a graphic designer, Liam Buchanan is a painter who also writes music and I work in clay.

Elzunia Rejmer sculpture and Adam Rowe print

Elzunia Rejmer sculpture and Adam Rowe print

With your own work, have you created pieces specifically for the exhibition?
The entire series was created for this exhibition. I was inspired by bush fires – I drive and I notice back-burning of the bushes. Sometimes you see glimpses of new life or life that wasn’t affected by the fire and it is so beautiful. I was also inspired by Dante Alighieri’s Inferno poem which talks about killing off a part of yourself to fit into society.

Elzunia Rejmer sculpture

Elzunia Rejmer sculpture

The texture of your sculptures is intriguing – not only do their forms create the notion of nature but the texture complements this also. How does your technique evolve from one work to the next?
I am working on an organic look, I use a glaze and oxide and mix the two together. A few of the works went through a few firings, some went through three firings to give them a charred look.

Elzunia Rejmer sculpture and Mark Cowie painting

Elzunia Rejmer sculpture and Mark Cowie painting

Is it difficult working on your own pieces and bringing the exhibition together?
It can be very hectic. We put the exhibition together in two months but we were planing it since April 2010. My work, to create, took three months. I have to do a process, it can take up to two weeks for my pieces to dry and they could crack through the drying process and sometimes I have to start again. Sometimes they won’t even go through the firing process, they can crack. Especially the works with nails, as the clay shrinks the piece can crack.

Elzunia Rejmer sculptures and Adam Rowe prints

Elzunia Rejmer sculptures and Adam Rowe prints

How would you like your work inspire other artists? Do you have a message for someone who is just starting and might be hesitant to start their artistic career?
I think they should go for it. I went to a sculpting teacher and he asked me why I want to study art. I said, “For myself.” He said, “Good answer, if you said anything else I wouldn’t take you on.” Creating art is a release and it’s a process to release an emotion. There is no better reason to create art then for yourself.

Liam Buchanan painting

Liam Buchanan painting

Joel Lambeth collage

Joel Lambeth collage

Lauren Carney illustration

Lauren Carney illustration

Adam Rowe prints

Adam Rowe prints

Adam Rowe print and Elzunia Rejmer sculpture

Adam Rowe print and Elzunia Rejmer sculpture

Samhain exhibition on Facebook
Adam Rowe website
Elzunia Rejmer website
Joel Lambeth
Lauren Carney
Liam Buchanan
Mark Cowie website

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