Martine Emdur; Sydney, Bondi-based renowned Australian artist is known for her ethereal underwater nude paintings. I had been admiring Martine’s work for over a decade and she is, and remains, my personal all-time favorite Australian artist. I was fortunate to meet this incredible humble human in person a few years back at her exhibition in Melbourne and take great pride in interviewing her here today for LVBX Magazine. Martine is sassy, adorable, incredibly funny, and greatly talented. Her large-scale paintings are tranquil, sensual, and are highly collectible. Her first international representation by Olsen Gallery will be at Art Palm Beach January – April 2017, Contemporary Art Fair on Florida’s Gold Coast USA.
Underwater love is the first thing that enters my mind when I look at your paintings when did your love and fascination for painting underwater ocean scenes initially take place? I booked my first exhibition at Bondi Pavilion before having any idea of what may hang on the walls. I walked out of the gallery after securing the space thinking what the hell am I going to paint? Straight ahead was my answer: ocean and people. So, the first exhibition was a series of seascapes and a series of nudes. Over the years, these two came together with deeper studies into the light and patterns in the ocean and an ongoing fascination with the suspended figures and the filtered light that pierces the water.
You paint nude swimmers submerged underwater and have had a few issues with regard to nudity on social media; tell us what the consequences were and your personal opinion on this issue? People being outraged by an exposed female nipple is outrageous. It’s baffling that a male nipple is “safe” but a female nipple is too much to cope with. I think it’s insanity to create such shame around the female body. There are much more offensive and damaging images allowed on Instagram than an innocent nipple so the censoring guidelines have some serious double standards. Unfortunately, the consequences of posting such images is that they are removed and your profile account is flagged as not obeying “community guidelines,” and potentially risk having your account cancelled without warning. You have to play the game unless you have the time and energy to challenge the rules. I do not, although there are other platforms that are not censored, so choices are available.
Your works have a serene, peaceful, aquatic depth of calm energy flow to them, do you think this is a reflection of yourself? Ha! No, not at all. I can be painting the calmest of scenes while simultaneously being a spectacular emotional drama queen. I dare say I feel more peaceful and serene these days compared to my younger years. Water as a subject matter appeals to me because of that very thing, it is so soothing and calming. This explains why most people make their way towards water for holidays – it’s revitalizing, refreshing and calming by nature.
Given your overwhelming success in Australia, it’s surprising that you haven’t exhibited to the global market until now. What initiated this decision? I can’t say for sure why it’s taken so long to head further afield, perhaps because It’s been so constant between here in Sydney and Melbourne. But I have to say, I’m very excited for the opportunity to experiment with new audiences.
WHAT WOULD BE YOUR DREAM CREATIVE COLLABORATIVE ENDEAVOR? My bestie is a physicist working in molecular imaging and I’ve always been inspired by the incredible images they capture. So that’s an obvious possible collaboration for me. Also, I’ve had a bit of a fantasy with bed linen.
NAME YOUR POISON: Love a vodka or five. Soda, fresh lime, and naughty friends… happy days.
FAVORITE RESTAURANT: Big fan of Lox Stock and Barrel in Bondi, Sydney. Everything I need to eat is right there. Great coffee, too.
IF YOU WERE TO DANCE LIKE NOBODY IS WATCHING, WHAT WOULD BE THE SONG OF CHOICE: I found this random track called “Be Your Own” on the album Colette, Nuggets. Love it. Salt-n-Pepa has been making a bit of a comeback in the studio. “Push it” gets me moving.
WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU CANNOT LIVE WITHOUT IN YOUR STUDIO? I’m taking 5 things – Tracky dacks, good luck apron, thongs, good headphones (shared space), and music.
PROUDEST MOMENT: Watching my son giving his farewell speech to his school this year. He wasvoted in as Vice-Captain (proud mumma) and had to overcome his fear of public speaking as it was a big part of the role. He blitzed it.
BEST ADVICE: I’m not big on giving advice. I do love the Albert Einstein quote, “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results is the definition of insanity.” That’s been looming in my mind lately, so I’ll share this today.
Follow Martine on Instagram and visit her website to learn more.
Australian abstract artist Boe Sapun is the founder and curator of Ecume Gallery. The Melbourne-based gallery represents both local, international, established, and emerging contemporary art.
The idea of having great art accessible to a broad audience prompted the online gallery showcasing her own work, as well as a diverse range and ever-growing list of talented contributing artists.
Boe‘s passion is in discovering creative minds and understanding the finer nuances of their character which influence their process, inspiration, and art. Follow Boe Sapun and Écume Gallery on Instagram and Facebook.