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View all Emma Velde's work


Emma Velde

Emma Velde DOB 21 . 10 . 74 Lives & Works: Christchurch Emma Velde graduated from the University of Canterbury with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1996, and completed a Master of Design at the University of Technology, Sydney in 1999.

For Velde, inspiration is bound by two primary parameters: the circle and the surface, both at the end from a very long transition from the landscape. The Circle - The mandala and Wheel of Life that embraces all polygons and represents infinity, completion, the womb, the world, the universe.

In Velde’s paintings the circle (or ellipse) frequently occurs in either the shaped canvas or as the main compositional motif of an otherwise abstract plain. The Surface - The painterly surface is no less complex in Velde’s paintings in their delicate and lush layering of colour and texture that is both organic in outward growth, and resembles geological strata in terms of depth.

This effortless complexity is reflected in the diversity of the media: ink, paint, water and gesso – each has its own liquid behaviours, densities and viscosities. In Velde’s work, affinities can be detected with the poetic colour fields of Gretchen Albrecht, and the elaborately textured surfaces of Louise Fong.

Here is a “decorative” sense that is capable of a rich, subtle formality.

There also appears to be similarities to Robert Matta’s techniques – encouraging a certain amount of accident in the first few layers, with opaque paint deployed in simple chromatic chords.

This results in a range of abstract surface types which seem to evoke haloes of light, undersea environments and coral reefs, galactic nebulae, mineral-rich volcanic pools, but most importantly a kind of meditative emotional inscape. Painting, the original virtual reality, has always existed in an intermediary space between theory, skill, passion, interpretation, craft and invention.

Painting is the externalization of the internal, binding together reality, the body’s physicality, and mental space. As well as a series of solo shows at Christchurch gallery Dobson Bashford Emma has completed numerous private and commercial painting commissions and has been represented at Morgan Street Gallery, Auckland and the Kunsthandel Galerie, Amsterdam.

She has also participated in the Art Event at the Christchurch Art Gallery.


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