Emma Hack

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Emma Hack is a highly acclaimed Australian artist whose works in the medium of body paint installation and photography have captured the attention of art collectors and lovers around the world.

Emma Hack, Artist, has gained worldwide attention also for her Motor Accident Commission, where she built a sculpture of 17 bodies arranged as a crashed car. She was also commissioned by the WA Ballet for their upcoming program imagery. Emma Hack’s mural ‘Madame Hanoi’ at Nic Watt’s restaurant in Adelaide is currently the largest body art mural in the world standing at 8m and is a particularly memorable work for Emma Hack.

Emma Hack is well known also for her work in the music video for Grammy Award winning musician, Gotye’s “Somebody That I Used To Know”, she painted the set and vocalists. The shoot was for 23 hours straight using photography and stop motion to create the video which has been viewed by over 800 million people worldwide.

Emma Hack works predominantly with body paint installation and photography, using her paintbrush to merge people seamlessly with the background so they become camouflaged like a chameleon. Emma Hack states that “the human is secondary to the work; the human is blended allowing nature to stand first.” She draws inspiration from around the world, from Australian flora and fauna to Oriental influences.

Emma Hack is a pioneer in the artform of body painting, beginning in 1990 and exhibiting since 1999. Emma Hack’s expression of creating on the human form has evolved over the years into a photographic installation work.

Emma Hack’s focus on nature in her works spring from her childhood in South Australia; surrounded by green fields contrasted with the desert she had a constant access to the diversity of the natural world.

“I am always influenced by my journeys and travels, body art is the oldest artform in the world, it’s interesting to explore this within my creations.”

Emma Hack Wallpaper Series (2005-2010) encapsulates this idea, where people painted with animals and birds blend into the ornate wallpaper backgrounds by Florence Broadhurst with such magic realism that one has to double take to realise the living canvas.

Emma Hack now paints her own backgrounds to compliment the artworks and takes her own photography.

“I love illusion, the human is ‘at one’ within their background, it’s a discussion of sense of self and looking after the environment and the beauty within it.”