When one thinks of body-art, the first things that may come to mind include body painting, tattoos and face paints. This has indeed been taken to another level thanks to Adelaide artist, Emma Hack, whose mastery of creating a camouflaged body within her art is part of something magical. Originally beginning as a face painter, Emma’s work has propelled her to international fame and eventually attracted the attention of iconic custom rug design company, Designer Rugs.
Yosi Tal, one of the founders and managing director, chased Emma for years, trying to organise a collaboration, and for a while, his efforts seemed fruitless. Eventually though, following her unique mark on the art world, Emma agreed and after a further year of planning, the new rugs featuring Emma’s designs were complete.
Accompanying the launch was a very special event showcasing the three completed designs: Yang, Yin, and Royal Hanging Garden. And indeed, they were a sight to behold. You would immediately notice the bright atmosphere they evoke. Upon first look, you may only see a collection of colours and shapes generated on the rug. But a closer look will reveal a whole new layer to every artwork, with a naked form hidden within. The rugs themselves are quite large, three metres by two metres, but Yosi tells me the designs can be custom made to suit almost any room. A painted woman also stands in front of one rug, blending with it and the guests surrounding her, a very appropriate homage to the work that put Emma on the map.
Emma herself places the rugs in two categories; Chinoiserie (“Chinese-esque” in French), which applies to the opposing Yan and Yin, showcasing a total of 22 colours, and Bloom which Royal Hanging Garden clearly belongs to, simply due to the natural vibe it creates.
While speaking about the collaboration, Emma and Yosi implore the guests to touch the rugs and have a feel for them. It’s not often an artist will allow you to touch their work, and the invitation to do so only furthers the intriguing atmosphere. It is clear from the dead silence while she speaks that her work has gathered nothing more than the highest respect. To put this in perspective, as if on cue, Emma’s friend and long-time collaborator interrupts to tell her: “what you have done and what you have brought to Adelaide is spectacular… we are so lucky.”
And what she says is true. Adelaide is so lucky to claim such an amazing talent such as Emma’s as one of our own. Her skill at mixing painting and reality in her normal work is nothing short of phenomenal, and her collaboration with Designer Rugs will only showcase her talent in a textile format, not diminish it. While the naked shape on the rug may disappear when laid on the ground, this only creates a further sense of wonder when inspecting the otherwise very attractive showcase of colour and comfort.
Words and Photos by Oliver Brown
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