About the Artist
Emilie Patteson is a contemporary artist, practicing mainly in glass and illustration. She grew up in Orange, NSW, and moved to Canberra in 2009 to study Glass at the Australian National University. She graduated with Honours in 2012. Emilie works from a small space at home and uses the facilities at Canberra Glassworks.
Emilie has won awards from the Australian Decorative Fine Arts Society, Canberra Glassworks, Craft ACT, and has been awarded Highly Commended in the Waterhouse Natural Science Art Prize two years in a row. She has exhibited throughout Australia and in Prague, Czech Republic, as a finalist in the Stanislav Libensky Award. Emilie's work is held in the Australian Parliament House Art Collection, the Prague Gallery of Czech Glass, and many private collections.
My artwork starts with the process of collection. I have been collecting for as long as I can remember. Throughout my childhood I had a large cardboard box that I filled with my treasures: feathers, pressed flowers, smooth pebbles, and skeleton leaves. My work is inspired by this collection and the sense of wonder experienced in childhood. The artworks that I create are an iteration of the collection of my adult years, and an attempt to see the same wonder I saw as a child. My work is also inspired by the aesthetic qualities of scientific collection, from the shapes of the scientific glass, the order and display of the collections, and the attention to detail. These qualities allow me to examine life cycles, particularly of plants. Through this study and observation I realise the fragility and preciousness of life. Death supports life. Decay leads to growth. Study of life cycles allow me to examine mortality, and realise there is beauty in the fleetingness of life. I try to convey these ideas through my artwork. By preserving plant matter inside glass, I ultimately also destroy it because of the temperatures needed to work with the glass. These effects allow me to work with the dualities of growth/decay and life/death to explore the cycles of life.