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Friends of the Drill Hall Gallery: Studio viewing with Emma Beer

Canberra artist Emma Beer has generously prepared an exclusive, virtual studio visit for the Drill Hall Gallery Friends.

In this short film she talks directly to the process of making her paintings and gives us a sneak peak at some of her most recent works. Click the link below to hear more from her.

Emma Beer was born in country Victoria and is now local to Canberra. In 2009 she graduated from the ANU School of Art and Design, where she now works as a Technical Officer in the Painting Department. Beer, an abstract painter, could be characterized as working with colour fields as well as painting in the expanded field. In her practice, she engages a sense of “empathy to the materiality of …paint”.

Beer’s works examine pure colour through a range of treatments and situations including opacity, translucency, glazing, and high key contrasts against white or black. Her paintings investigate the ‘trueness’ of colour as they undergo a rigorous trial of Formalist inquisition into their very nature. How does the colour respond to each of these questions in the resulting work?

Gesture is also a central element at play in Beer’s works. Fast, free and fierce gestures capture the movement of the artist, yet are often confined within clear delineation. The gestural marks bring an emotional sensibility to the works that are in a large sense, non-objective. The presence of the painter’s hand is essential in transcending the rigidity that can characterise hard-edge abstraction.

Beer’s work demonstrates a boldness that is measured and considered. Through clean and absolute line her work considers complex philosophical ideas of the Void. With a sensitive handling of light, luminosity and negative spaces, usually in white, she creates a sense of emptiness which, on closer inspection, reveals the subtle texture of brushstrokes.

The works are intuitively rational and balanced. Beer constructs high impact compositions through a system of layering. Her compositions are incredibly stable and convey a comforting sense of stability and steadfastness in a precarious world.

You can see more of her work on her website:

Additionally, you can view more here:

The Drill Hall Gallery acknowledges the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples, the traditional custodians of the Canberra region, and recognises their continuous connection to culture, community and Country.