All artwork by Emma Van Leest. Left – Beginning always, 2010, paper, foamcore and glue, 36 x 24cm. Right – Terroir, 2010, paper, foamcore and glue, 36 x 24cm.
There sure is a lot of paper engineering/ paper folding and cutting around these days… but have you ever seen anything quite like this!?🙂
Emma Van Leest’s intricate creations demand a double-take. ‘Is that HAND-cut?’, ‘is that PAPER?’ and ‘How LONG did that take?’ are commonly overheard at an Emma Van Leest show! What is amazing about this work, is that no matter what your interest or knowledge of fine art, Emma’s work never fails to engage curiosity! There is just something so mind-boggling about the incredible detail in these works, achieved with the simplest of materials – a sheet of archival paper and a blade.
On completing her honours year in Fine Arts at RMIT in Melbourne, Emma traveled to Indonesia to study Balinese and Javanese folk art – including the ancient art of shadow puppetry. Later, she was the recipient of an Australia Council Emerging Artist’s Travel Grant, and visited China to study traditional Chinese paper cutting techniques. These days her work draws from a myriad of references – Nature and plant-life, orientalism, folk art, Medieval saints, Hindu literature and children’s fairytales.
Although she’s just 32, Emma’s work is quickly gaining notoriety and is already highly collectable. She was recently featured on the TV for an episode of Art Nation (SBS). You can view the segment here to see Emma in action!
Emma Van Leest is represented by John Buckley Gallery in Melbourne.
Artworks by Emma Van Leest from her Perpetua exhibition at John Buckley Gallery last year. Left – To distant shrines, 2010, hand cut archival paper mounted between perspex, 165 x 79cm. Right – Héloïse, 2010, hand cut archival paper mounted between perspex, 167 x 91cm.
Artworks by Emma Van Leest – top artwork (on blue) – Within, 2010, archival paper, 64x96cm. Bottom left – Transcend, 2008, archival paper, 25 x 13 cm. Bottom right – Attainment.
Incurred by Emma Van Leest, 2009, archival paper, 40 x 37 cm
A likeness by Emma Van Leest, 2009, archival paper, 71 x 101 cm.
All matter that exists by Emma Van Leest, 2009, archival paper, 101 x 69 cm.
Drawing on her time spent in India, China and Indonesia, Melbourne artist Emma Van Leest uses the medium of paper cutting to create miniature fantastical worlds gleaned from fairytales, folk art and Hindu literature.
Consumed, 2010 – live animation installation by Emma Van Leest
Wintergarden by Emma Van Leest, 2007, Vinyl, Dimensions variable. Installation at the Fracture Gallery, Federation Square, Melbourne.