Having followed Emma's journey in ceramic art for quite some time, it comes as no surprise that we have asked her to join our network of artists. Join us, as we talk to Emma about building ELS and discover more about the process behind her creations.
Please tell us about Emma Lindegaard Studio and what you do.
ELS is a design studio offering food styling, long table gatherings and hand-made ceramic objects. When I first started, I was primarily offering large-scale event styling, but as time went on, I realised what really suited me was being able to bring the authenticity and attention to detail that can only be offered through specialised details; which is when I transitioned the business to smaller-scale offerings.
What is the story behind your practice? How did it form and become what it is today?
My journey with clay began about 6 years ago after attending a few short courses at FAC. I immediately fell in love with the medium and set up a garden studio at home. I'd never had a daily practice before, and the routine and discipline brought a huge sense of purpose to my life.
I was lucky enough to have a bit of a following by the time I launched my first collection of ceramic vessels and was overwhelmed by the response. I knew this would grow to be my main focus from that point onwards.
I currently have an offering both locally & internationally with my vessels and am represented by Curatorial & Co Gallery in Sydney for the sculptural work.
How would you define the style of your work and describe the aesthetic of your sculptural pieces?
My sculptural work is led by an exploration of negative space, organic curves and clean lines. This often ends up in one-off pieces each time I create. I, however, like to think there is a harmonious through-line in all the work.
I use minimal surface-finishing methods to complete each piece, honouring the raw medium and emphasising the form. Textural glazes and slips are added thoughtfully and sparingly to highlight the earthiness of the medium.
What message or emotion do you want to convey through your works?
Every time I put my work into the world, people come to me with totally different ideas about what my work means to them, which I really love. So I think that if I said I'm trying to push a particular point or idea, it would be dishonest - my work is very much about the process and driven by intuition and what works in the moment.
That being said, the materials I choose, whether it's the type of heavily grogged clay or dry crackled glaze, it is definitely something decided upon to inform the final piece and how I want it to sit in the space.
I very much look to the Australian landscape - rock surfaces, cracked soil, shells etc. when I need something to draw from. I'm constantly chasing and trying to re-create that tactile response I get from these elements and surroundings; to ground and provoke stillness and presence from the viewer.
Could you tell us about your techniques?
I hand-build all of my objects using the coiling method, a technique that's been around for millennia. This is a very slow way of making, hero-ing the makers hand and imperfections. It often takes me days to create each piece, and I usually work on at least 3 pieces at any one time.
Since turning toward more sculptural work, I'm allowing myself to play and explore new ways of developing a form. As I'm self-taught, there's been a bit of trial and error, but It's allowed me to produce shapes and subtleties in the work that I couldn't have pre-conceived.
Does your creative process start from a sketch, or do you follow the impulse as you progress?
When I first began my practice, I would always base my work on sketched-up ideas, but as time progressed, I realised that this really interrupted where the piece could have landed if I had followed my intuition. I think this way of making keeps things honest and exciting There's really no better feeling than when you're entirely in something, leaving any predetermined ideas behind.
All your works are named. What informs the names?
Music plays a big part in my process. There are certain points that I hit depending on what I'm listening to, and these moments absolutely inform each piece. I always have a pen & paper on my table to note down certain songs that have made dents.
To name few and pay respect:
Signals - Brian Eno
Sacred Space - Young Marco
Tower of Silence (Album) - Roberto Musci
Scripted Space - Suzanne Kraft
What direction do you hope to take your practice over the following years?
In the near future, I hope to hold another exhibition in WA, perhaps a solo show depending on where my next body of work takes me. Further down the line, I'd love to exhibit or do an art residency either interstate or internationally.
Collection of exlusive to Anfisa artworks by Emma Lindegaard are now available to loan or purchase.