Friday, October 3, 2014

An interview with Emma Simmons about her new exhibition 'Best Inner West'

  An exhibition of local landscapes by Emma Simmons
Opens 11th Oct - 3rd Nov

About you
I'm Emma Simmons, I am a Sydney based illustrator who enjoys drawing landscapes and suburban scenes. Sydney has a real mixture of architectural styles, offering plenty of inspiration to draw from and a few challenges as well.

I've have also had some fantastic opportunities to illustrate people's own homes, which has been a great challenge and given me quite a few different architectural styles to play with.

How long have you been drawing landscapes?
I started back in 2008, when I was working in Balmain. As Balmain is one of the oldest suburbs of Sydney, many of the buildings had a crumbly charm or 'character' if you like. I was always and am still collecting fabrics, laces and paper textures... and just started thinking about fabric patterns in the way I was thinking about the texture in the buildings.

Since then I have been drawing buildings that I love with their little quirks and buildings that have been a part of the history and lives of people in the inner west. 

How would you describe your style?
My drawing style is fairly loose. My line work is drawn freehand with ink, I add water colour which can create some lovely effects and textures. I then digitally add different textures and fabric patterns that I think might represent a surface well. The end result is a texture rich digital collage.

Along side my digital collages, I have created some small Gocco prints
for this show, hand finished in watercolour and metallic ink.

What interests you in the old inner west?
To be honest I'm interested in the signs of age that visually show a buildings history, whether it be the architectural style or the deteriorating condition. The way that we use these buildings is constantly changing along with the needs of the community and the population and often they are gutted and re-purposed, the suburban landscape is always shifting. 

What can people expect to see at your show?
The show features some of my favourite scenes and buildings of the Inner West. Looking at all of the pieces in the show as a collection, you might say that I have a fascination for recording older buildings, in some cases documenting them before they disappear.